JEFFERSON DAVIS COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - She's the former state president of Mississippi HOSA, president of the first NAACP chapter in Jefferson Davis County, president of the Beta Club and president of Mu Alpha Theta chapter for three years. Those are only some of the accomplishments of Shakira Hall, of Bassfield.
Now, she's earned an acceptance letter and a full ride Bill Gates Scholarship to Harvard University. This young woman exudes brains, beauty and faith.
"Honestly, I wasn't even going to apply to Harvard, because I didn't think I could get in," said Hall.
There were fleeting feelings of doubt even from a young woman who has never made less than an "A" and scored 32 out of 36 on her ACT test.
"Finally, the day before the deadline, the Harvard application was due, I just said why not," Hall said.
Shortly after, there was the phone call affirming hard work pays off, and nothing is impossible.
"I got a phone call from my admissions counselor, and she said you got into Harvard. I'm like, 'are you serious?' She said no you got in!" Hall said.
She traveled over 1,500 miles from home committing to Harvard University, mingling with more students of outstanding stature.
"It's not the norm that you find someone in Mississippi going to get an Ivy League education, especially being from the area I'm in," Hall said.
Coming from the small town of Bassfield did not limit her list of goals.
"Don't let your area define who you are," Hall said. "Just because I'm from a small town, it didn't define me. You just have to become your own person. If you have a goal and you want to achieve it, just stay focused on that goal. Keep praying, stay faithful, adjust realize what you want to do."
There were many wise words from a youthful woman. She said a saying passed on from her parents led to her resilience.
"If the elevator to success doesn't work, you have to take the stairs," Hall said. "There's no easy way to anything. Sometimes, you have to do extra to get to where you are trying to get in life."
Faith in her future paired with perseverance lead to Hall's success.
"You have to be so motivated that you don't want to tell people what you're thinking about, because you know they'll say you cant do it." Hall said. "It's so huge, and they might be terrified by what you are trying to achieve."
She will be crossing the stage as Valedictorian. Hall is going to study abroad and plans to major in Government and minor in Spanish. She wants to make an impact in Mississippi, so as of now, she said she will most likely return.