|PHOTO | JEFF PALMER|
|Aneesha Tucker of Olympic High School is The Charlotte Post Foundation's Top Senior of the Year runner-up.|
Antron Tucker would be proud of his little girl.
His daughter, Aneesha, The Charlotte Post’s Senior of the Year runner-up, is a scholar-leader at Olympic High School, making good on Antron’s vision. Although he died when Aneesha was 4, Antron still inspires.
“We were super-close and inseparable because I was the only girl [among] three boys,” Aneesha Tucker, 18, said. “I was the girl of the family that he wanted. My memories were of the father-daughter things we used to do together. I remember the funeral and everything, and it’s driven me to carry out his dream for me, and that was to be great and do great things.”
Tucker, who has a 5.08 grade point average, has done great things for a while. As an elementary school student, she gave to Gulf Coast relief efforts when Hurricane Katrina struck. Awareness of others’ plight and the drive to help remained.
“In first grade, I’d watch the news with my mom” Jacqueline, Tucker said. “Every single day, I’d watch the “Today” show, and that was around the time Hurricane Katrina happened and the first thing I thought of was these kids are losing everything – their homes, every sense of foundation they had. We had a toy drive in my first-grade class and we’d bring like book bags of toys and Teddy bears, things like that to kids affected by Hurricane Katrina. In high school, we did something similar with Hurricane Harvey and earlier this year, we had a hurricane supplies drive to help people affected by” Irma and Maria.
Tucker is widening her activism to domestic violence awareness and prevention
“I’m really into activism and things like that now,” she said. “I’m looking into [developing] an app for that, something for people going through domestic violence on a reoccurring basis and things like that. In many countries, it’s the leading cause of death now.”
Tucker’s campus leadership roles include president of Olympic’s National Honor Society Science Honor Society. She started the National Organization for Women.
“My planner is my best friend,” she said. “I try really hard to make sure I prioritize a lot, so every moment I try to make sure has a purpose. I’m also really passionate about all the things I’m in, so it makes it a lot easier to plan and distribute my time to things I’m passionate about.”
Tucker, who has earned a Morehead-Cain scholarship to UNC-Chapel Hill, hasn’t decided on a major, but is already thinking of how to parlay her professional choice – dentistry – into a vehicle for service.
“I’m leaning toward dentistry and going to dental school,” she said. “That’s where I’m at right now, but as far as my undergraduate degree, I don’t know which I want to pursue. I was looking at biomedical engineering for tweaking some of the processes for dental hygiene so people in underdeveloped country would be able to have better access to things like that.”
With graduation around the corner, Tucker is looking forward to life after Olympic, but grateful for the opportunities high school afforded. The shared pursuits and community will go forward with her to UNC.
“I think it’s the people I’ve met and connections I’ve made,” she said. “I’ve met a lot of friends who are lifelong friends who are as driven and as motivated as I am and are going to go on and do great things. That’s what I’ve loved about my high school experience. I’ve met so many people from so many different backgrounds, and I’ve learned a lot about people and connections.”