WASHINGTON -- A 17-year-old superstar from Southeast, DC has a full ride to George Washington University. She also finished second in her class, but she didn’t get there on her own. So, we're showing mom a little love.
The gym was full of kids standing in rows, singing the school song. Friday was graduation dress rehearsal at Ballou High school. But Saymiya Beach is ready. She’s been practicing all her life following the path her mother laid out for her.
In many parts of D.C., this means being real with your child - teaching them how to walk to and from school safely knowing a detour could be dangerous.
It’s a lesson Toni Davis learned herself growing up in the District. “Within DC they have a call ‘hey ey- ey’ - they yell out the window,” said Davis, “if it’s not your mom, I know your name. If it’s a family member they’re going to call your name specifically. If it’s not me or you don’t hear your name you don’t turn around and don’t look you keep straight forward and get to where you’re going. You don’t get in the car with anyone -- you don’t car hop!”
Davis said she can trust that Saymiya can pick up her 9-year old sister from elementary school and get her home if necessary. “By the Grace of God, they come home every night safe and sound,” Davis said.
This single mom of two does not play. She keeps her daughters in line through church and school; teaching them to avoid the distractions that get so many kids caught up.
“Sometimes you don’t have to worry about what the other kids are doing because your grades are much more important than what’s happening right now,” she said.
The road to salutatorian and a full ride to GW wasn’t easy for Saymiya but it was paved with a mother’s love, dreams and sacrifice.
“I’m very proud of her she is the strongest person I know,” said the 17-year old.