EAST POINT, Ga. — The Atlanta area is known as a mecca for talent, but many don’t realize some of the biggest stars were cultivated just south of the city in East Point.
Tri-Cities High School boasts a number of students who went on to become Grammy and Emmy award winning artists. This includes Outkast, Kandi Burress, and Kenan Thompson.
Senior Dru Berrian says, “When I think about all the great people that have come out of Tri-Cities, there’s an understanding that I will be one of them too in two or three years tops.”
It’s not easy to get into the rigorous magnet school. Applicants must present an impressive audition, have competitive grades, and other qualifications.
“I would say our students are some of the best in the country,” says Director Dr. Tiffany Mingo.
Many of the students My East Point News spoke to seem to have a unique sense of purpose.
"I want to go to college,” says senior Cameron Weaks, “I want to pursue music and perform for celebrities all over the world."
“It's truly all an all exciting… because you know you're doing things that typically other kids don't do,” say senior Aaron Guy.
Director Emeritus, Viola Turner, is credited as building the current program more than 20 years ago. Turner has seen hundreds come as students and leave as stars.
"The whole idea is to create a student that will succeed in life based on the experiences they've had here,” she explains.
My East Point News asked Turner for her secret in creating such successful students.
Turner says the right training and pushing students to give their best helps. But most of all, it’s believing in them. Sometimes that’s really all you need.
"I think sometimes people don’t have high expectations of kids. We tend to not believe that they can do what they want to do, or achieve what they want to achieve,” Turner says. “But look what they have achieved.”
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