Every week, we spotlight outstanding athletes who are really making the grades in the classroom. That in itself is a huge accomplishment. But this story runs a little deeper.
Quanitria Robinson goes to Central High School. She's a pretty good track athlete trying to make it to state.
But she's had to make a lot of sacrifices along the way.
You won't hear Quanitria complaining about sprints during practice. For her, running is the ultimate release. "Some people think it's boring but it's not. It helps me with stress or anything I'm going through, it helps me," she said. "It's sort of like a bird, and I'm flying with wings, just going anywhere. I just love it."
The kid can soar. She clocked a 12.3 second mark in the 100-yard dash. but she really shines in the relays.
Her coach, Candice Roberson says her senior puts a tremendous effort into everything she does. "Quanitria didn't run in the first two meets. and in that four by one hundred, she made a huge difference in that third meet, and she just shot out of there, so she's going to be an important part of us making it to state," Roberson said.
There's a reason Quanitria didn't make it to those first two track meets. It's also the reason she pushes herself so hard in the classroom. The student carries an "A" average and puts a lot of pressure on herself to perform.
"I want to help other people, and for me to do that, I need to go to college and be successful," Quanitria said. "I want to give back to what I've had and what I've struggled through. I want to make a difference in this world."
When you hear a teenager say struggles, you may think they don't know the definition of the word. In this case, you would be wrong. "Financial reasons. I've struggled through that, but fortunately, I'm here today, but that makes me wiser," Quanitria said.
She's wise beyond her years, in part because in her childhood, Quanitria didn't always make it to class in elementary school.
It's something she's never forgotten. "I couldn't make it because my mom didn't have a car. Financial reasons like a car," Quanitria said. "It's more like I couldn't go because school was too far."
Today, getting to school isn't a problem, but money is still an issue. Remember those two track meets the sprinter missed?
She was working. Her coach understands. "She wasn't going to run this year and she came to me about some stuff that was going on at home, and we sat down and talked. I gave her the training schedule, which she can do outside of practice. She's done that and, at the same time, helped her family," Roberson said.
And just like that bird flying down the track, Quanitria wants to spread her wings and accomplish some big dreams.
She intends to become a pediatric cardiologist. "I want to go and study abroad. I want to go to Paris or Africa and help young children with their struggles," she said with confidence. "And I feel like the world could be better for me to want to accomplish that. Yeah, that's pretty good."
Quanitria says she's already been accepted to Valdosta State and she's applying to other schools. She says she would love to get a track scholarship, but she knows she will qualify for the Hope and possibly other offers.