• 54°

The path to graduation: North Rowan High School’s Kierra Wilson

When Kierra Wilson walked across the stage at North Rowan High School’s graduation, she knew the accomplishment had not come without a fight.

When Wilson was 9, she lost her mother.

“I remember that day just like it was yesterday,” she said.

Wilson’s father picked her and her sisters up from school, took them to her grandmother’s house and broke the news. Her mother had been sick and in the hospital, so the news wasn’t exactly unexpected, but it hit hard.

“At that moment, I couldn’t find the words to explain what I was feeling,” she said.

Wilson managed to keep her grades up, but fell apart when she got to high school.

“I didn’t care that much about my classes,” she remembered.

At the end of freshman year, Wilson had a 2.8 GPA. When she started her sophomore year, she knew she had to change. Even as a sophomore, Wilson knew she wanted to attend the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, so she looked up the entrance requirements and got focused.

“It took a lot of hard work,” she said.

She had a good support system, including a teacher who helped her discover her passion and career path. At the end of senior year, her GPA was 3.5.

“I came into high school not expecting to try my best. But eventually that all turned around,” she said.

Wilson also struggled with maintaining extracurricular activities. Freshman and sophomore years, she tried out for the school dance team but had to quit when it started affecting her grades.

“That’s more important than dancing,” she said.

She also played trumpet in band and joined extra clubs.

In the fall, Wilson will attend UNC-Greensboro and plans to double major in biology and pre-veterinary science. She hopes to become a veterinarian.

“I feel like animals deserve just as much help as humans get,” she said.

For Wilson, graduating was bittersweet.

“I’ve been emotional all week. … I’m not ready to grow up,” she said.

She encouraged incoming freshmen to work hard and to make connections. Both will pay off in the future, she said.

“Take high school seriously, but also enjoy it — get involved in clubs, because I promise you these four years are going to fly by,” she said.

Comments

Crime

Jury begins deliberations in Fishzilla murder case

Education

East Rowan culinary students feed staff who helped build new classroom

Local Events

Rowan County Fair makes pandemic return Friday with COVID-19 protocols in place

Education

Education briefs: Schultz selected to NCDPI’s Teacher Leadership Council

Education

Catawba to induct six into Blue Masque Hall of Fame

Education

Cavs After Hours: A new tutoring space at North Rowan

Education

Shoutouts

Crime

Salisbury Police: Toyota Prius is most popular target for catalytic converter thieves

News

Salisbury City Council will vote on whether to exempt Goodwill developer from setback requirements

Local

Rowan Sheriff’s Office holding fundraiser for deputy hospitalized with COVID-19

Nation/World

FDA backs Pfizer COVID-19 boosters for seniors, high-risk

Nation/World

Many migrants staying in US even as expulsion flights rise

News

NC Senate maneuvers again to keep public records bill alive

News

NC road-building costs could scale back long-term projects

Coronavirus

State reports 10 new COVID-19 deaths in Rowan County, 18 this week

Crime

Man jailed after fleeing to California, returning to Kannapolis

Granite Quarry

Granite Quarry officials will request correction to 2020 Census count

Local

Salisbury city manager describes short-term solutions for firefighter pay concerns

Education

17 rackets donated to Erwin Middle School tennis teams

Local

Spencer town hall project at Park Plaza moving along

Nation/World

‘Soul-crushing’: US COVID-19 deaths are topping 1,900 a day

Nation/World

White House faces bipartisan backlash on Haitian migrants

Nation/World

House OKs debt and funding plan, inviting clash with GOP

Nation/World

China, US unveil separate big steps to fight climate change