Against All Odds: CEF Scholar Talks About the Value of Perseverance
Patience, dedication, and a strong foundation in faith are among the reasons why Tysyn Parker has accomplished so much in and out of the classroom. Parker, a senior at Junipero Serra High School in Gardena, admits that time management is the key ingredient to his recipe for success as an academic scholar, student ambassador, and a star player on Serra’s football team. His athletic abilities have already gained him offers for full scholarships to San Diego State University and Colorado State University, but he will ultimately narrow his decision down to a school that will enable him to achieve both his athletic and academic goals.
Parker truly epitomizes a well-rounded student. He has been on the Principal’s Honor Roll since his freshman year at Serra, has maintained over a 4.1 GPA since his sophomore year, and is currently in the top 15% of the graduating class of 2017. Of course, his athletic success speaks for itself. Parker has received all mission league honors and is an integral part of one of the top-performing high school football teams in the state of California. And on top of his already busy schedule as a scholar and an athlete, he makes time to serve as a student ambassador. “Being a student ambassador, being able to help the young students, that’s big to me because somebody did that for me as [an incoming freshman],” Parker shared.
Parker is grateful to Serra for providing him with the community and learning environment that he now considers his family and home. “You have more of a personal involvement with students and teachers, so you can get that one-on-one time you need,” he explained. “Serra changed my perspective. It changed me tremendously because I feel more open to people. I feel like I can express myself more to others around me. It has also taught me to always lend a hand when people are down.”
Despite the many challenges he has faced in his young life, Parker has always been able to summon the strength to remain positive in his outlook on life and continue to move forward. At the age of three, Parker’s mother passed away and his father did not play an active role in his upbringing. He was lovingly raised by his Aunt Micole, his grandfather, and a few uncles. “As I’ve grown older, the loss of my mom hasn’t really taken a negative effect on me. I think [it] made me a better person because I know she’s there for me. Losing her is [a] negative but…I’ve been able to develop to stay true to who I am.”
Adversity has always been a motivation for Parker to strive for success and accomplish his goals. His future is bright as he is now selecting from several colleges and universities that have already made him offers of admission. He plans to major in criminal justice and hopes to one day become a detective so that he can continue to make a positive impact on his community. “Whether I am a police officer, or [an] officer in the Army, I just want to make a difference. I want to impact somebody’s life. I just want to be able to give back and see people happy.”