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A Student’s Journey from Peachtree Corners to Brown University



Class of 2024 student Kaitlyn Williams enters her residence hall for the first time. Photo: Nick Dentamaro

Kaitlyn Williams: Joining the team before stepping onto the field

Kaitlyn Williams was a high school sophomore at Greater Atlanta Christian School when she visited Brown the first time for a soccer tryout.

It was love at first sight for the Peachtree Corners, Georgia, native, who was smitten with Brown’s “beautiful” archtecture, the enthusiasm the students had for learning, and the coaches and players who, three years later, she would join on the varsity women’s soccer team.

“I could tell that they really loved the team and loved each other,” she said. “It just seemed like a great opportunity to be a part of a community that strives to make each other better.”

Like her fellow first-year students at Brown, Williams was asked to postpone the official start of her school year to the spring term. But she has already become part of the women’s soccer community she so admired.

Each week this fall, Coach Kia McNeill sent the team a series of training activities — dubbed a PACT plan — focused on developing the team’s physical conditioning, attitude and character, and technical skills and tactical prowess. Weekly activities included community-building activities — like playing games and cooking a teammates’ favorite recipe, virtually — and panels with team alumni and professional players, all held over Zoom.

One panel featured the captains from Brown’s Ivy League championship-winning women’s soccer teams, who spoke to current players about how their team experience had shaped their professional trajectories.

“It was really cool to see how connected they still were, even the ones who hadn’t played together in 30 or 40 years,” Williams said. “You could see the impact the team has had on them — not just because they made close friendships, but also because the connections they made helped them excel in their professional worlds, and it also allowed us to create those connections with them.”

She also got a jump start on her coursework this fall. As part of the University’s offer for first-year students to remotely enroll in a fall course, free of charge, Williams took Intermediate Calculus, a requirement for her concentration in applied mathematics.

“It was a really good way to meet other people,” she said. “And it gave me the chance to exercise my mind a bit before starting in the spring.”

Now that Williams is finally on campus, she is looking forward to embarking upon a full course load that will allow her to complement her math studies with courses like Principles of Economics and Sport in American History.

“I’ve never thought about sports from the perspective of the effect they have had on American history,” she said. “I’m excited to explore that more deeply.”

Williams also looks forward to having the opportunity this term to deepen the connections that she made with her teammates virtually last fall.

“I’ve only met a handful of them in person,” she said. “I’m really excited to meet the team.”

Source: Brown University

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PCBA’s Accepting Applications for Two Scholarships



The Peachtree Corners Business Association (PCBA) is excited to announce our eighth annual scholarship opportunity for local high school Seniors who demonstrate community spirit and initiative and meet the requirements.  The scholarship program was established to raise awareness among high school students of the need to give back to the local community & school.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2020 – 2021 Student Scholarship Program.  The PCBA will award two $1,000 scholarships to deserving graduating high school seniors.

Students are invited to apply now by completing the Scholarship Application through midnight on March 17, 2021.  Submit your COMPLETE application by March 10, 2021 to enter a special raffle.

Applications should be emailed to scholarship@peachtreecornersba.com.

Sealed Transcripts may be sent to the PCBA office at
4989 Peachtree Parkway Suite 200
Peachtree Corners, GA  30092.

Click Here for the Current Scholarship Application for Eligible Graduating Seniors

Qualifications Include:
– Must be a Senior & at least one of the following to qualify:
– Resident of Peachtree Corners
– Senior at Norcross HS, Wesleyan HS, Paul Duke HS, or Duluth HS
– Child of PCBA Member

Applications must include the application form, a copy of the student’s sealed, or official transcript showing cumulative GPA, and essay of 500 words or less describing why you are the best candidate for the scholarship including three (3) things you have learned during Covid-19 that you believe will help you in the future and a separate page listing any of the following the student has been associated with, and give a brief description of your involvement:

  1. School Organization Affiliation
  2. Sports Affiliation and Extra-Curricular Activities
  3. Areas of Community Involvement
  4. Personal time donated to Charitable/Humanitarian causes
  5. Activities completed or participated in due to Covid-19 restrictions to support the community, healthcare workers, first responders, and others.

Click Here for the Current Scholarship Application for Eligible Graduating Seniors

“The PCBA is proud to continue this scholarship opportunity, which recognizes local students who have positively impacted the community,” says Mona Lippitt and Janice Crosby, the PCBA Community Outreach Co-Chairs.  “In previous years, we were impressed at the dedication to community service we saw from applicants. We look forward to honoring the deserving students who receive these scholarships, especially during these challenging times” shares Lippitt and Crosby.  Funds for the scholarships are raised throughout the year from PCBA membership, sponsorship, and our annual charity event.

For questions regarding the scholarship program, please email scholarship@peachtreecornersba.com

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Greater Atlanta Christian School students celebrate Chinese New Year



John Cong, a 10th grader, performed a Chinese traditional guitar melody, which he self-taught. Photos from GAC press release information.

Greater Atlanta Christian School‘s Chinese international students shared the Chinese New Year’s rich history with the high school on Friday, February 12th. A core group of students planned for weeks to incorporate the food, décor, and fellowship during a special celebratory school lunch. A traditional fare of dumplings with black vinegar, fried cabbage, jasmine rice, kung pao chicken, and green tea ice cream was served amidst the festive Chinese lanterns, fans, and door couplets.

Eva Zhao and Miranda Cao enjoying a Chinese New Year meal

Students Bob Yu, Eva Zhao, and John Cong created a video inspired by their experiences in China and America, which played during the meal.  Bob, a 12th grader, shared a prayer about his arduous travels as a result of the pandemic and his recent return to his “home” at Greater Atlanta Christian School (GAC).  Eva, a 12th grader, expressed her personal sacrifices of staying in the US instead of returning to China to be with her birth family.  John, a 10th grader, performed a Chinese traditional guitar melody, which he self-taught.

GAC’s high school international students are from China, Korea, Vietnam, Japan, and Russia.  Many have chosen a “homestay” option where they live with GAC families and begin their high school studies and graduate from GAC.

Source: GAC Press Release

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Paul Duke Stem HS students place in DECA competition



deca students
DECA competitors from Paul Duke Stem HS. Photo Courtesy of Paul Duke Stem HS.

DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) is an international organization that provides high school and college students networking opportunities, social interactions, real life business scenarios and guest speakers from the business community. DECA’s mission is to prepare emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe.

Paul Duke Stem Highschool recently competed in DECA’s virtual conference. Please congratulate these Paul Duke Stem Highschool DECA students and DECA Sponsor Lauren O’Connor!

They had some winners last week! Their students worked really hard and several placed in the top 8 to move on to the international level in April. The top 8 won medals and the top 3 won trophies.

● JJ Mauney – 5th Place Principles of Business & Admin

● Faith Nnakwe – 4th Place Principles of Finance

● Aidan Ventimiglia – 2nd Place Business Finance

● Kasha Salia – 4th Place Quick Service Restaurant

 Abigail Sirakoulis – 3rd Place Job Interview

 Candace Cang & Sarah Tan – 2nd Place Personal Financial Literacy

Candace Cang & Sarah Tan – 6th Place Business Law & Ethics

● Grayson Preston & Jasmine Monroy – GOLD Re-Certified for School-Based Enterprise

● Serenity Howell & Marth Reyes-Sanchez – 1st Place Chapter Chronicles

These students were also competitors and while they didn’t place, they will always be winners to us! Congratulate them on completing a competition in a virtual setting during a pandemic: Landon Shell, Iam Garcia, and Yazarah Jack


Paul Duke Stem Hs news

DECA Direct

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