BURKE COUNTY, GA (WFXG) -Every week FOX54 celebrates kids who are shining bright in our community, doing good for others, or providing inspiration for their peers.
This week we’re celebrating Shekinah Jones, a Burke County 12-year-old who is pushing past her diagnosis to achieve more.
Shekinah wasn’t always so at ease at school though.
"On the first day of my sixth grade year I had to leave school and go to the Waynesboro Hospital because I couldn’t breathe," she said, a 6th grader at Burke County Middle School.
That’s when school took a back seat. She was diagnosed with sickle cell. As the pain stole her attention, Shekinah would end-up needing to repeat 6th grade, but this isn’t where her story ends.
"I just came back to school with a positive attitude," she said. "No talking back to teachers, and I just do my work, and pay attention, and listen."
This – after her teacher, Valorie Collins found a way to inspire her.
"Once I said ‘I’m tired.’ I said Ms Jones teach for me. You know what to do,’" Collins said. "So she will teach the class for me. It was something that we had went over, and she understood it, so I just let her teach. When she’s up there teaching, and pointing to different things on the Promethean board, changing it, and teaching it – her whole perspective changed."
"I feel great by helping my other classmates," Shekinah said.
"I’m proud of her for doing it, because she doesn’t allow her illness to take control of what she wants to do," Collins said.
Now Shekinah is excelling thanks to the difference one teacher can make.
"Like, Ms. Collins . . she is the best teacher ever, and I love her," the girl said.
“Always remember Miss Collins loves you - which I tell them that every day,” her teacher said, “and look for the future to do brighter and better things.”