Aylah Birks, a senior at Twiggs County High School in Georgia, has been awarded $2.2 million in scholarships from 84 colleges. Birks, who was often bullied in school by her classmates, has also achieved her dream of becoming a published author.
Birks has a current GPA of 4.0 and a finalist for the Gates Scholarship. Although she got accepted into so many schools after long nights of research, her biggest inspiration through it all has been her mother. All she has ever wanted to do was to make her family and herself proud and she sure has done that and more.
“I think the main driving force behind these accomplishments has to be my mother. Just seeing her tireless effort of always taking the time out to read me a story, or teach me something new as a child,” said Birks.
The young scholar struggled to understand why she was bullied in school for so long. “I was often bullied, and I didn’t understand why, but when you’re bullied…people see something in you that they don’t see in themselves,” she said.
This has made Birks an anti-bullying advocate. Also, unlike her classmates, Birks admits she did not have the chance to participate in as many extra-curricular activities as she would have loved to because her mother had to dedicate so much time taking care of her grandfather who took ill a few years ago.
That notwithstanding, the high school senior merged her dream of always wanting to be an author with her experiences and has penned her first book, ‘Perspectives Through the Looking Glass.’
She said the book is a blend between poetry and her personal stories which were written interactively so the audience can engage her in a conversation as she discusses different relatable topics.
Though the Georgia high school senior has a pool of schools to choose from, she has her eyes set on two schools: Clemson and Mercer.
Birks plans on taking on a double major in behavioral neuroscience and legal studies with minors in communications and public health as she continues to sprinkle her Black girl magic outside her hometown Twiggs County and leave her mark on the world.