For more than 140 years, Mount de Sales has encouraged academic excellence, service to one’s community, and inclusivity among students. The graduating class of 2019 included more than 100 young men and women who now attend a variety of colleges and universities across the United States. In our Five Faces Feature, you will get to know several of our youngest alumni who were nominated by faculty and staff as outstanding representatives of Mount de Sales Academy.
JaNiya Gibson attended St. Peter Claver Catholic School through middle school and became a Cavalier in ninth grade. She danced with the color guard for two years and then cheered for two years. JaNiya served as a Cavalier Ambassador and was a member of the National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society. As a senior, she embraced leadership roles such as president of the World Cultures Club, the cheer Pep Rally Captain, and vice president of the Beta Club.
She received the President’s Volunteer Service Award at the Silver level in ninth grade for completing over 175 hours of service in one year. One of her biggest high school accomplishments was being named the 2018 Alpha Phi Alpha Cotillion Queen, an opportunity that taught her about being confident, outgoing, and a better leader. JaNiya excelled academically and graduated with honors.
JaNiya attends Fisk University, where she received the Erastus Milo Cravath Presidential Scholarship, a full-ride scholarship. Her goal is to attend medical school and become a pediatric oncologist. JaNiya is sensitive to the financial burden placed on the parents or guardians of terminally ill children. She wants to create a nonprofit organization to support families and pay for medical expenses of terminally ill children. JaNiya’s father passed away from cancer in 2009, so her compassion for families dealing with cancer comes from personal experience.
JaNiya’s favorite class was biology with Coach Gray Yates. According to Coach Yates, “I’m not sure I have ever had a conversation with another teacher at Mount de Sales about JaNiya where the statement ‘I love that child’ was not made. For the last four years, JaNiya has accepted every responsibility she has been given, and I’m sure some of her friends would admit that she has accepted their responsibilities too. This simple life choice will continue to produce not only the response of love but success in whatever she chooses to pursue.”
Mount de Sales Academy is a private Catholic school located in Macon, GA, and serves students in Bibb, Houston, Jones, Monroe, Peach and other surrounding counties. MDS is sponsored and inspired by the Sisters of Mercy. Since 1876, MDS has served a diverse college-preparatory community of learners—students and teachers alike—who are poised to discover, challenged to innovate, and motivated to serve.