Augusta student earns $1M in scholarships, 50 college acceptances


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Going to a dream school without financial burden will not be an issue for 17-year-old Jakelia Baker. 

The senior at Lucy C. Laney High School is leading her class as valedictorian and has earned more than a million dollars worth of scholarships. Plus she’s gotten more than 50 college acceptance letters.

Jakelia Baker has put in countless hours applying to colleges and for scholarships no matter the location.

“My momma kept me on track,” says Jakelia Baker, Laney High School student. We would use weekends and sometimes when I was at games I would be doing college applications.”

Jakelia has received a million dollars worth of scholarship money, and she already knows where she wants to go. But it’s a secret…for now. 

“No ma’am, no one is going to know until Friday,” says Jakelia Baker. 

During Jakelia’s four years at Laney, her hard work has not gone unnoticed around the school. 

“She does everything to the best of her ability, and she exceeds the standards in everything that she does,” says Laney’s Assistant Principal, Douglas Jackson. 

Aside from mastering academics, Jakelia is a five-sport athlete, and she juggles several extracurricular activities while maintaining a 4.1 GPA. 

“Basketball, volleyball, golf, tennis, soccer, and then I have math team, academic decathlon, national honor society, student council.”

The list goes on. Although she smiles, there were many sacrifices Jakelia had to go through. 

“I couldn’t hang out with my friends or I would miss out on parties or other opportunities, and I would have challenges at school,” says Jakelia. 

“People telling her what she can’t be. that her standards are too high. I’m proud! I’m proud to see how she’s overcome that,” says Denise Baker, Jakelia’s mom. 

Whatever she decides, she is looking to carry that same momentum into college. 

“I’m going to major in biochemistry. I think the career field that I want to do is clinical research.”


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