COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – A very selective group of Senior students from Hardaway High School are recipients of the National African American Recognition Award. The four seniors received a standing ovation at Monday’s Muscogee County School Board Meeting. WRBL’s Kenzie Beach shares the story of these high achievers and their big aspirations post graduation.

After years of hard work and dedication, the initial reaction was surprise.

“It feels good, I’ve never been recognized for something like this so it feels good.”

Jada Davis – Senior, Hardaway High School

The four seniors now have the National African American Recognition Award under their belt to help propel them further in reaching their goals.

“Having this award allows colleges to know I take school seriously, I’ll study hard and I have a good work ethic. I feel like this award will help me better be accepted to colleges so that in my future I can get to where I want to be in life.”

Kenyen Hardy – Senior, Hardaway High School

Amani Johnson says at the end of the day life is about balance, in the classroom and on a human level.

“Stay a balanced student but not only that stay a balanced human. Prioritize your mental health and make time for yourself outside of school but when you are in school work hard, take notes, use all your resources you possibly can and you can achieve anything.”

Amani Johnson – Senior, Hardaway High School

The entire room including the Board of Education gave the four students a standing ovation.

Hardy publicly thanked his mother for the opportunities given to him as a 1st generation immigrant from Jamaica. He says she always prioritized his education.

“It’s like education, education, education. Without education you can’t really get too far in life. It’s always been there, it’s always going to be there whether it’s a career, job. It’s always around us so we will always need it to fall back on or propel us forward.”

Kenyen Hardy – Senior, Hardaway High School

Hardy uses his family near and far for motivation.

“I want to make my family proud both here and there. I know making my mom proud will make me happy too.”

Kenyen Hardy – Senior, Hardaway High School

All four hardaway seniors have above a 4.0 GPA.