As we kick-off College Week, we want to spotlight several members of the Class of 2021 starting with Jalen Middleton, who has attended The First Academy since the 6th Grade.

What were the reasons you or your parents chose The First Academy? 

I chose TFA because I believed it was the best environment for me to grow up and become and man and get an opportunity to know the Lord Jesus Christ. I knew that the teachers would pay attention to their students and the academics would be great.

Are you involved in extracurricular activities? 

Throughout my high school career I have participated in the Art Honor Society, became the Basketball Team Manager, and was a part of S.A.L.T (Student-Athlete Leadership Training ). From 9th to 12th grade I’ve accumulated over 115 service hours doing community service work. I went on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic to help out Kids in need and to play basketball against the national team. I’ve been a counselor at kids’ sports camps countless amount of times and enjoyed being a leader in their life.

Which colleges are you planning to apply to or have you applied to thus far? 

I have applied for 9 colleges so far and have got into 8, but I’ve made my decision to go to Florida A&M University. I got into Florida Atlantic University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, Ave Maria University, Morehouse College, Davenport University, Barry University, and Albright College.

What do you plan to study in college and what are your long-term career goals? 

I plan to study Animal Science and graduate with a master’s degree. After undergrad, my plan is to go vet school and to open up my own clinic, and become a great father to my family.

Who are some of your favorite TFA teachers, and why?

Mrs. Collins has always pushed to be the best student I can be and always believed that I was capable of doing anything. Taking her class really impacted my life.

In one sentence, what did being a student at The First Academy mean to you? 

Being a student at TFA means that I’m able to grow as a man with an amazing family around me.

How has TFA made a difference in, or impacted your life? 

TFA showed me how important it was to have Jesus Christ in your life and how much it has changed me in such a positive way. Because of that, I was able to impact others.

Do you feel that The First Academy has prepared you for life after graduation? 

I definitely feel like TFA prepared me for life after graduation because it taught me that the values that a young man should have, and that the people you hang out with really can make an impact in your life.

What is your favorite memory at TFA? 

Playing football with all of my brothers.

How have you grown in your walk with Christ since coming to TFA? 

100% Yes. From 6th grade to now, I honestly feel like I have a good relationship with Jesus and I am able to use that it impacts others. It is still an everyday walk and I’m going to keep on growing closer to him.

What was one spiritual insight you gained at TFA that has impacted your life the most? 

I taught that everyone should be treated the same despite their race, gender, or beliefs. Spread positivity to everyone and be a servant in your community. Something as little as a smile and a “How are you?”, can impact someone’s day.

What does the school year them, “Greatest of These is Love,” mean to you and how have you incorporated in your day-to-day life this year? 

Love everybody and spread positivity, because you never know what someone is going through and how much a smile might impact their day.