Landria Burkley

DSC4665Landria Burkley from Nashville School for the Arts says “I choose to succeed.” The daughter of a drug-abusing mother, Landria took on a parent’s role at a young age, caring for her brothers. “None of my family has graduated from college and some never finished high school. “When she learned she was pregnant, Landria decided that she would take responsibility for herself and used her pregnancy as motivation to achieve her goals. Living in poverty in a single parent home, she says that she didn’t have much growing up. Yet she knew that she wanted to break the cycle of underachievement in her family. It was just me, my twin brother and a younger brother growing up. I had to take on the mother role because my own would not. My brothers depended on me….if they were hungry I cooked, if homework help was needed, I helped. “I prayed for my mom every day, and as time went on she began to change.”

One of her two “inspirations” is Trish, her Big Sister (with Big Brothers, Big Sisters). Trish encourages and supports Landria and challenges her to go beyond what is expected of her. Her other mentor is Ms. Lauran from her church.  Landria says at their first meeting, they “just clicked.” She admires Ms. Lauran for her accomplishments and education.

She participates in the youth group at her church, sings in the Madrigal Singers, and is active in The Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

April Gung, her senior counselor, says that Landria was born with a “core of steel.” She says that Landria “impresses her daily.” She has no doubt that Landria will be successful in the future.