Javaughn Lawrence

Hometown: Coral Springs, FL

high school: Deerfield Beach HS

college: Yale University

MAJOR: Economics and Sociology

Twelve years ago, Javaughn Lawrence lived in the small town of Rose Mount in Montego Bay, Jamaica in an overcrowded, three- bedroom house. He shared a twin-sized bed with his grandmother, aunt and uncle. With such a large group of people living in one house, food was almost always short. Many evenings, all he ate were four biscuits and drank Koolaid. To eat on some days, he had to steal food or money to buy it. However, poverty never hindered him from enjoying his childhood: he made his own toys and played games, like cricket and “stuck ‘n freeze”, with his friends. Although his living conditions improved once he moved to the United States in 2001, Javaughn constantly moved around, living with family members and friends until he entered the 9th grade.

While living in the Unites States, he struggled academically at first, obtaining poor grades on standardized tests, especially those in Reading. With his mother working six days a week, 24-hours a day, Javaughn never had a steady enforcer to ensure that he committed to his academic studies, so he had to develop his own motivation; this was profoundly abetted once he began to understand tremendous sacrifices that his mother, who earned enough to pay whomever he was living to keep him, had to make to provide his bare necessities.

Her inspiration proved instrumental to Javaughn as he started to work on improving his reading (He had been reading at a 3rd grade level in the 6th grade). For the first two years of middle school, he carried a novel and a dictionary in hand. One book moved him the most: Finding Fish: A Memoir by Antwone Fisher. Javaughn empathized with Antwone’s story of struggle, rejection and pain, and was inspired by his eventual success. Without a father figure, Javaughn turned Mr. Fischer into a role model, endeavoring to emulate his strength and determination.

Upon entering High School, Javaughn had all the motivation he needed to succeed. He emerged as one of the top students in his grade level, taking the most difficult IB and AP classes and becoming a National Achievement finalist. He actively tutors, and has Presidential and Vice Presidential positions in numerous clubs, such as Anthropology Club and National Honor Society. Upon graduating high school, Javaughn will matriculate to Yale University as a Quest Scholar.

As the first member of his immediate family to graduate from high school, Javaughn knows that success is his only option. To repay the many people who have clothed, fled, sheltered and inspired him providing him--with the ammunition for future success as well as a profound faith in the inherent goodness of people--Javaughn feels obligated to make a considerable contribution to humanity with the skills and talents that he has developed and will develop. After completing the Ethics, Politics and Economics (E.P.E) major at Yale University, he hopes to earn a Ph.D in Economics.

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