Vicksburg’s Sha’Kyria Allen named National Finalist for Heisman Scholarship

Published 10:51 am Friday, November 25, 2022

Sha’Kyria Allen, a senior at Vicksburg High School, was recently announced as one of the 12 National Finalists for the Heisman High School Scholarship award.

Making it to the pool of national finalists has already secured Allen two scholarships worth $1,000 and $2,000. One male and one female will be selected as the national winners of the competition and will each receive a $10,000 scholarship.

The Heisman Scholarship is meant for young men and women who participate in a wide range of sports, as well as school and community activities.

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Allen said she’s always known she wants to devote her life to serving others. She began volunteering in middle school and has dedicated many hours to numerous community organizations, always willing to do whatever is needed most.

From spending time talking with nursing home residents, to distributing school supplies to disadvantaged students, to serving on the board of a local non-profit, Allen said she believes that opportunities to work with people from all walks of life are essential to her personal development and growth.

“First and foremost, it has taught me a lot about myself and my limits as a leader,” she said.

She uses her experiences and the knowledge gained to push back on those limits and set new goals for herself both academically and athletically.

Allen is an All-American Cheerleader and has won first place at the state and national levels. She is also a gifted track and field athlete and holds multiple school and district records, as well as one state record in the sport.

When she is not competing or serving her community, Allen is studying for her many college-level courses and maintaining a 4.39 GPA that has earned her induction into multiple honor societies.

Allen’s extracurricular activities include:

  • Student Council Member
  • Key Club Vice President
  • Student Ambassador Secretary
  • Shady Lawn Nursing Home Volunteer
  • New England Patriots Malcom Butler Football Camp Volunteer
  • ATV Recreational ATV & RV Park Back to School Volunteer
  • MXO Pearls Girls Club Volunteer
  • NAACP Jr. Volunteer

Her academic honors and offices include:

  • Mu Alpha Theta Honor Society President
  • National Technical Honor Society Secretary
  • Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society

While Allen admits that balancing the demands of school, sports, and service has left her drained at times, she is motivated to overcome these challenges by keeping her ultimate dream in mind: to one day become a fetal surgeon. She knows that “there is much work for me to do, and one degree is only a piece of my incredible goal.”

She also understands that she will continue to face obstacles and be tested along the way. Nevertheless, “it is a goal I cannot pass up on,” she said.

Allen’s drive and commitment to achieving the future she envisions and ensuring a positive purpose for her life can be summed up with her personal mantra: “The sky is not the limit for me.”

Three local students were also announced as school winners in the competition. For Vicksburg Catholic School, Kate Simrall Hood and Noah Taylor were recognized. For Vicksburg High School, the school winner was Aisha Taylor.

The two National Winners of the competition will be announced on Nov. 30.