Student Spotlight: Sydney Shepherd

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Sydney is the definition of a hardworking person. Not only did she begin her first iLEAD semester six weeks late, but she also completed the semester early with straight As, including a college-level English course! Sydney seems to effortlessly balance her academics and her professional career as a series regular on the Emmy-winning series General Hospital and the new Netflix animation series Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts. She has entered multiple dance competitions, often placing first in her category. In addition to being a full-time learner and a working actress, Sydney gives back to her community by volunteering over seven hours a week at a local elementary school. She says, “I’m so glad to give back to the community. It feels good to help others!” Sydney’s determined spirit, passion, and humility will lead her on a road to success.

Sydney has been able to balance her busy schedule and maintain a 4.1 GPA by using the flexibility of the iLEAD program to her advantage. She states, “After attending public school for two years, I can confidently say that iLEAD has tremendously helped me maintain my work life, education, and mental health.” Even her mother agrees that when the pandemic hit, Sydney realized how grateful she was to already be part of such a flexible program. With the help of iLEAD’s course pacing, Sydney is also able to find time to study for SATs and prepare for college. She says she might want to go to a Historically Black College or University, such as Howard or Spelman, or she might stay in California so that she can continue working and attend one of California’s prestigious universities. Either way, we know that with all of her hard work and dedication, her future will be bright!



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