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To each of us is a goal to which we strive, and for every action there is an equally opposite reaction. Each
day that we are allowed to wake there are a series of choices that we have to make that will very much determine how the remainder of our lives will turn out. Today one such incident happened to me, and we thank Allah for using us for His purpose. After a long nights work, I was napping when I received a call form one very good friend and brother in Islam. He began to tell me about a story (story below) that had been printed in the news paper that I work from earlier this week about three young people who defied all the odds to succeed and graduate with very impressive grade point averages. Today with the generosity of one of our most generous sponsors Zakat U.S.A. was able to help Ms. Ciera Dunn with a $1500.00 gift to help her with some of her expenses, as a token of our appreciation for her going the extra mile and achieving her goal of graduation with excellence. We met with Ms. Dunn today May 27, 2012 and delivered the gift as requested by our partner in this work. We are very proud of her! Her goal was to graduate and our goal was to do something for her only for the pleasure of God Almighty.
T.E.A.M... TOGETHER EVERYONE ACHIEVES MORE
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Ciera Dunn went through her senior year at Central Gwinnett High School while working full time at a Walgreens in Lawrenceville. She’s graduating with a solid academic record. College comes next, but she also wants to keep working.
Ciera Dunn raced through senior year in overdrive juggling AP classes and a full-time job because she craved financial independence.
The 17-year-old graduated from Central Gwinnett High School on Wednesday excited – and exhausted. Since August, Dunn has been going, practically nonstop.
First, it was classes until mid-morning followed by a couple of study hours in the library. Then, off to work at Walgreens in Lawrenceville, where the lessons she learned in AP economics took hold as she stocked shelves and rang up sales 30 -to 40-hours a week.
Homework and sleep got wedged in between her hectic schedule.
“First semester was really hard,” Dunn said of juggling. “I spent a lot of time studying at lunch break and doing homework in advance. Time was of the essence.”
No matter how stressful things got, Dunn persevered as if on automatic pilot. She would smile exuberantly and say “Have an excellent day!” to her Walgreens customers and sometimes even to callers who interrupted her power naps at home.
“She is doing a great job,” said Clayton Schwindt, the store’s executive assistant manager.
Dunn had the freedom to work full-time because she transferred to Central junior year with advanced classes from a DeKalb County Schools' international baccalaureate program that put her on a fast track. By senior year, she had 21.5 of the 23 credits that she needed to graduate.
The ambitious senior decided to take more AP classes and enroll in a work study program, gladly sacrificing her social life to earn a disposable income.
She saved for college and for a $2,500 silver Toyota that made it easier to get to work, until it broke down recently. She is saving to get it fixed. Dunn skipped prom to avoid the expense of a fancy dress and a limo.
“I semi regret that,” Dunn says.
She teared up with relief after her final AP exam last week admitting juggling was "hard": "Many times, I just didn’t want to get out of bed, but you have to. It puts me in awe, when I look at my co-workers who have families and car notes."
Amazed by her granddaughter's determination, Willie Allen of Decatur said, “I am very proud of her.”
Dunn graduated with a 3.3 GPA and college credits allowing her to skip freshman history and literature. She has been accepted to five Georgia colleges including Georgia State University.
She hopes to commute back to Walgreens to work. She needs book money.
“I want to be an orthopedic surgeon,” she said. “It has always been my dream.”
Link for story: http://www.ajc.com/news/teens-face-adversity-juggle-1445206.html