It feels like déjà vu for one mom in Georgia. Two years ago her daughter, Chyna Mays, graduated at the top of her class with a 4.91 GPA and college acceptance letters to schools like Brown, Stanford, Columbia, Rice, Cornell, and the University of Pennsylvania to name a few. Now, two years later, her son, Anthony Mays II has followed the same path. At Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology where his sister set the standard, Anthony just graduated as the valedictorian with a 4.93 GPA, and plans to join her at Stanford this fall.
Thanks to their parents, good grades and focus, they’re attending college without the burden of tuition. Because of Them We Can spoke to their mother, Demeka Breedlove-Mays, to learn more about their journey and to find out exactly how they were able to replicate similar outcomes between their daughter and son.
“Our secret is that we had a plan for them since birth and followed it. Admittedly, the Ivy league or top 5 schools were not a part of the initial plan. We just wanted them to attend great schools on full rides. One day, my daughter came home from elementary school after attending a college fair and declared she wanted to go to Yale. That's when we had to seriously do research about admission requirements and costs. We told her what it would take and what she needed to do to work for it. We took them both on college tours as early as 8th grade. During a West Coast tour my son put Stanford at the top of his list. After an east coast tour, he added MIT and Harvard,” she said.
The plan worked and it included enrichment and readiness plans and programs that continued through summer breaks.
Not only was Anthony accepted into MIT and Harvard, he also received favorable responses from Stanford, Brown, The University of Pennsylvania, Columbia and Dartmouth amongst others.
“Their father and I met and graduated from an HBCU - FAMU. We were both first-generation college students and graduates. We were the first in our families to graduate high school and go to college. We encouraged and helped our younger siblings to apply and go to college. We made education a priority in our family because we were determined that our generation would change our families' histories. We wanted our children to make quantum leaps in education and in life to further advance the trajectory of our family.”
Both Chyna and Anthony earned all A’s on every report card from Kindergarten through 12th grade. Even in their advanced placement courses. In high school, Anthony took 18 AP courses opting for a non-AP course only if the course was an elective or an AP course wasn’t available.
His 4.93 GPA also made him the only male and the only Black valedictorian for the Class of 2019 in the entire Rockdale County Public School District.
Anthony will join his sister at Stanford in the fall and plans to major in Management Science-Engineering (economics-finance track) and Mathematics with Mandarin as his language of study. Chyna is a rising junior studying Bioengineering and just received her 2nd academic excellence award for maintaining a 3.5GPA or higher all year.
This is what we call Black Excellence!