“Don’t let anyone hold you back from what you want. My outlook on life is to just go for it!” says Grundy County High School senior Jeresha Meeks. Captain of the GCHS softball team, Meeks has followed that belief for as long as she can remember. “I have been playing sports since I was in the Diaper League at 4 years old,” she says. “I really love sports and have played all of them: softball, basketball, volleyball, I’ve tried them all, but I have settled my focus on softball in high school. I’m playing center field, shortstop and second base and serving as the team captain, which means that I watch out for the newer members and make the big decisions on the team. I serve as a role model for the younger students. “I haven’t always had strong role models to look up to, so I want to be there for younger students for whatever they need, even if the problems are personal problems. I especially want to be there for them if they don’t have support at home.
“My granny is my biggest inspiration. She has conquered breast cancer, handled challenges with family members and gotten through a lot of other hardships and not let anyone keep her down.”
Meeks’ love of sports runs in the family. Her younger brother plays basketball, and her little sister, Meeks says, “is just like me! All over the place with sports, playing baseball, softball, volleyball and basketball. She really looks up to me, so I want to be a good role model.”
When not in school, Meeks works at the Mountain Goat Market in Monteagle. However, she makes time to give back to the sports she loves and the younger players by assisting the county-wide middle school softball team with their practices and working in the concession stand, a fundraiser for the team. During the past four summers, she has also assisted with the middle school sports camps held at Grundy County High School and with the Junior Pro basketball camps.
Her future plans are to pursue a career in the medical field, either as a travel nurse or anesthesiologist. She has been applying to schools in Florida and would like to go to Florida State College in Jacksonville where she has family.
“I lived here all my life and haven’t traveled much. I just want to see what else is out there,” said Meeks. “I chose the medical field because I like helping people. I’ve seen family members go through some hard paths, and I would like to be able to give others the help they need.”
Currently taking medical assistant classes at GCHS, Meeks will graduate in the spring as a certified medical assistant.
“I love it, even though it is kind of difficult,” she said. “You really have to focus on it. I am taking my seventh medical class so far. I think that is everyone they teach!” Next semester, she will be taking dual enrollment classes to get her a head start on her college curriculum.
Her advice to younger students entering high school: “Try your hardest and get involved in multiple clubs and sports. Get yourself out there. I feel like that is the best way to have a good experience and to be successful in high school.”
SVEC congratulates this determined young leader.