Keith Thompson and Zephaniah Collins, once just strangers, are now friends getting ready to embark on an amazing journey: COLLEGE.
The Southern Miss-bound seniors were not always on the collegiate path that they are on now, but with the help of SR1, Scientific Research, the graduating duo has a great future ahead of them, which includes a Lucky Day scholarship to their prospective school.
SR1, a non-profit organization that serves Hinds, Scott, and Madison counties, strives to eliminate the disparities in education, health, and technology by working to develop public and private partnerships that help to bridge the gap.
The afterschool based program assists students in grades K-12 with developing skills necessary for academic success, character building, and dropout prevention through innovative tutoring, mentoring, and enrichment activities.
Zephaniah Collins, known by his friends as Zeph, started with SR1 his 9th grade year, as did Keith. They both were once shy kids; Zeph describing himself as “absent-minded and worrisome.”
Ninth grade Murrah counselor Ms. Hawkins, referred the future paralegal major to SR1, and since then, he has been a leader to not only his younger peers, but also his two younger brothers. Zeph is the second oldest of four brothers, and also has an older sister.
Zeph has grown to be determined and resilient to whatever is thrown his way.
His determination and resiliency comes from the robotics team, a component of SR1’s STEM initiative, where he served as team captain.
Zeph credits the team and the organization as a whole for making him who he is now.
“SR1 helped me to grow as a person, and a student. It also provided me with opportunities that I wouldn’t have gotten just at school, “ Zeph said.
Zeph is not the only one that credits SR1 for his success; Ms. Byrd, Zeph’s mom does as well.
“I love what SR1 has done, and I am appreciative of the dedication that everyone puts in,” said Ms. Byrd. “As the mother of a young, black man, I am excited that Zeph is not only going to college, but that he wants to go.”