Richmond County GA Scholar: De’Anya Bell
The Augusta Chronicle. Miguel Legoas. May 17, 2020.

Davidson Fine Arts School’s seniors missed out on some big celebratory traditions related to graduating from the magnet school, but De’Anya Bell felt like she got a little something back when she was named a Georgia Scholar.

“During this unprecedented time where you feel like a lot of things have been taken away in a way ... it was definitely nice to hear that you’re being recognized and that people are being able to see the hard work you’ve put in all throughout the years,” Bell said.

Bell was one of only 295 high school seniors in the state — and among seven from Davidson — to be named a Georgia Scholar, which earns the graduates a special seal on their diplomas. Eligible candidates are those who show exemplary academic performance like Bell, who has a 4.0 GPA, an ACT score of 32 and been a part of several AP and dual enrollment courses.

But Bell said she wasn’t working towards this honor. She didn’t even know about it, which she believes makes it even more special.

“I just like to work hard, just for myself ... not trying to get any recognition,” she said.

Bell said her discipline in academic life comes from her dance life.

“I’ve been dancing since I was three,” Bell said. “Dance has really taught me a discipline physically with the technique and everything, but also just how to take charge, kind of, and not let things just pass you by and do what you set out to do.”

Bell has flourished as a modern dancer under her mentor, Sharon Mayfield, but has done it all through Davidson’s programs.

She plans to take that love for dance and turn it into a minor with a business management major at Howard University, where she has been awarded nearly a full ride to the college in scholarships.

Bell said her obstacles have been less physical or outward and more internal, worrying about growing up, change and leaving an impact on the world. She has worked to leave a positive impact on her class as president for the past two years.

“It was really nice to know that my class trusted me with those responsibilities,” Bell said. “I love my class. I’d do anything for them.”

Bell’s parents, Tametra Tracy and Dolphus Bell II, said it has been a learning experience watching her grow and develop into the person she’s become.

?‘Proud’ is an understatement,” Tracy said. “I respect her as an individual and I support her.”

“It just makes us feel grateful to see that the things we’ve endeavored to teach her and put inside of her ... she picked it up and kind of ran with it through her scholastic experience and just through her life,” Dolphus Bell said.

A life that’s still unfolding.

“I don’t know specifically what I want to do, I just know I want to lead something great and I’m hoping it has something to do with dance,” Bell said. “I just want to lead something that’s going to leave an impact on everybody that it touches, something of substance and just doing what I love.”

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