Takia sat in a classroom in Dr. Traxler’s office last Thursday afternoon. She is spending time during her senior year at Quitman High School exploring career options through the Clarke County Career Tech Center. Does she want to be a dentist?
“I’m just seeing. I think it may be too much school for me,” she smiles. “I’m thinking pharmacist or nurse practitioner, and I will go to either Southern Miss or Ole Miss. I do know more about Southern since I went to drum major camp there for two summers. I know how that campus feels, and it’s closer to home.”
Home is a place where Takia led the Big Blue Crew onto Panther Field. It is where she grew up as the eldest of three. Clarke County is the place where her grandmother was heard saying, “She’s three going on forty,” when referencing her eldest grandchild. Those close to Takia nod when she is described as an old soul.
It was seven years before the second child, her sister, was born to the family who raised Takia as their center.
“We had a small family. I was the only kid so I got a lot of attention. When I was little I read a lot and I had people read to me. My mother pushed me hard to be just like her. She had me when she was 17, but she still went on to get her nursing license because my mama was smart, too.”
When describing her relationship with her younger siblings, Takia says, “They look up to me, and I feel responsible. I’ve always grown up thinking like an older person. I do feel like I need to be a responsible leader in my family. I was morbidly obese during my 9th and 10th grade years so I became determined to do something about it. I started taking progression photos. It was about exercise, and I did a bunch of cardio at home and at the gym. My aunt used to go with me. She lost weight, too. I kind of inspired my whole family to lose weight. My mom says I’m the best kid, but I’m the worst. I do great, but I’m spoiled.”
QHS Band Director Andrew Pierce says of the bass clarinet and tenor saxophone player, “Takia has been a representative of Quitman High School at the past two State Band Conventions held in Natchez. She has been selected for the past two years as a member of the William Carey Honor Band, and she has been a member of the All-District band for the past three years. Hopefully she will hold this title again after her auditions in January.”
The QHS Drum Major and HOSA member also holds down a part-time job, describes herself as an introvert, and laughs at the irony of feeling like she has a lot of friends.
“I’m well known and liked.”
For those wanting to also be well known and liked, the QHS senior who aspires to be remembered as a leader, says,
“Work hard because nothing is handed to you.”