Wallace overcomes hardships to reach success

The following student was selected for the 2014 Shelby County Reporter Nine who Shine section, which recognizes excellence among this year’s high school seniors.

By PHOEBE DONALD ROBINSON / Special to the Reporter

Drienna Wallace is a senior at Vincent High School, where she will graduate third in her class with a 3.79 GPA. She was awarded a full scholarship at Berea College in Kentucky including tuition, room and board. Her goal is to be the first in her family to graduate from college.

Vincent High School senior Drienna Wallace is striving to become the first in her family to graduate from college. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

Vincent High School senior Drienna Wallace is striving to become the first in her family to graduate from college. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

“Drienna is a dedicated and self-motivated student with great character and work ethic, high academic ability and strong leadership skills,” said school counselor Maite Miller. “She does everything to the best of her abilities, does it with integrity, great attitude and has accomplished much in the midst of extreme challenges.”

Wallace has won many awards as Daughters of American Revolution Junior ROTC, Pinnacle Scholar, Basketball Athletic and President’s Education awards taking AP classes throughout high school.

She is the cadet battalion commander for Vincent’s award-winning Junior ROTC Battalion, the highest-ranking cadet leader. She was Girl’s State Representative, vice president of Road’s Scholar academic club, president of Beta Club, vice president of senior class, participated in Upward Bound and Youth Leadership Shelby County.  She has a servant’s heart, volunteering hundreds of hours during high school.

“Drienna has a great attitude, is a hard worker, and never lets anything stop her,” said math teacher Mary Marbut.

Wallace’s determination to never give up was tested greatly her senior year when she became pregnant. She continued with school, kept her grades up, but had to quit sports. She was determined to go on to college with her baby. Sadly, her baby died at birth.

“Life is never easy,” said Wallace. “It is our decision to get back up again. My faith and my pastor at Scotts Grove Baptist Church helped me so much during this time. I am also very close to my younger sister. She and I, along with my little brother, live with our grandmother. My goal in life is financial stability and the only way is through an education. The environment at Berea reminds me of Vincent. I want to be a nurse and hope to join the Navy after college. I ultimately want to earn a PhD in nursing.  There is no reason I can’t.”