Written by Pearly Bowser
Albany, Ga – An Albany State University junior is among only 31 students in the state who’ll receive honors for academic achievement from the University System of Georgia. Chancellor Hank Huckaby singled out ASU criminal justice major Viniecia Colley as an outstanding scholar. The Waynesboro, Ga. native is ASU’s representative for the Georgia General Assembly’s 2013 Academic Recognition Day. “They’re the very best students in terms of scholarship and academic achievement,” said ASU President Dr. Everette J. Freeman. “She’s truly the best of the best at Albany State University.”Colley has a 3.9 grade point average, the same score earned at Burke County High School where she ranked third in the graduating class.
“Education is my priority,” the HOPE and Watson-Brown Foundation scholarship recipient said as her mother Regina Golphin stood beaming nearby in the president’s office during a photo session. The 4th grade teacher pushed the importance of education and instilled a strong academic ethic in her children at a young age.
“Education is very important to me. I’m an educator who takes my children’s education very seriously. She has always been the type of child to do her work. We support her 100 percent. I’m very proud of her. With all that she has going on, she’s still able to maintain her grades. She is an inspiration to me,” said the Blakeney Elementary School educator.
Colley has an eight month old son, Terrance Smith, Jr. who whimpered in her arms as President Freeman presented a resolution to the family from the Georgia House of Representatives and the Senate. Last summer, after giving birth, the young mom stayed on track to graduate by taking online classes. “I am determined to succeed. After graduation, I plan to work in probation and parole. Ultimately, I’d like to own a private investigation firm,” she said.
For those who have excuses about why college goals are unattainable, Viniecia’s mom has this advice: There are no excuses. Many young women in Waynesboro say, “If she can do it, then I can do it too.”
Academic Recognition Day began in 1987 as a celebration of “individual academic achievement of students who exemplify that which is best about the University System of Georgia and its institutions,” the resolution reads.