Georgiana grads bound for AUM

Published 3:11 pm Monday, May 23, 2011

When Brittany Turner, valedictorian of Georgiana school, heads to Auburn University at Montgomery this fall, she will be the first in her family to go to college.

She will, however, be accompanied by at least one classmate, friend and salutatorian Aleshia Cheatham.

“It’s hard to leave behind so many friends, but you have to move forward to progress,” Cheatham said. “At least I will have my friend Brittany there.”

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Though both these students’ futures are bright, the two diverge when it comes to a course of study.

Turner plans on getting her bachelor’s degree in science before heading to the University of Alabama in Birmingham to pursue a degree orthodontics. The choice, Turner said, comes from a desire to want to see more people smile.

“You notice nice teeth when someone smiles,” Turner said. “I want more people to have nice teeth so maybe I can make them smile more.”

Cheatham, however, plans to be a physical therapist, a path she found during her high school athletic career. Cheatham incurred two injuries during her high school athletic career, a broken tibia and a strained tendon in her shoulder.

“My physical therapist was so nice to me,” Cheatham said. “After my shoulder injury, they got me back to playing in three weeks.”

Cheatham would like to be able to do the same thing for other young athletes.

The pair’s favorite school subjects are as different as their future career paths. Turner always loved math.

“I like to solve problems, and I like the fact that there is a definite answer in math,” Turner said.

The senior said she would miss her math teacher Mrs Blackburn, who Turner said “was so good at teaching.”

As for Cheatham, English has always captured her attention.

“When I started taking AP classes, it really opened things up to me that I had never knew about before,” Cheatham said.

The salutatorian said that Mrs. McAster helped instilled in her a love for English.

“I love to write, but I usually just write for myself,” Cheatham said.

With all the newfound freedoms that college provides, both admit they will miss an easier life back at home.

“I have worked as a babysitter, but I have never had a ‘real’ job before,” Turner said. “It’s going to be tough trying to keep up my grades while working.”

Cheatham agreed.

“I will miss the easy ride, and not having many responsibilities,” Cheatham said.

Cheatham, who played basketball, and Turner, a two-year softball veteran, will most likely be leaving their athletic careers behind them, though Cheatham said she may try out for basketball.

Both, however, plan on trying out for the cheerleading squad after getting settled in.