Selina Iglesias: Greene Publishing, Inc.
James Madison Preparatory High School (JMPHS) graduate Cindy Brown made history on Wednesday, May 17 as she signed on with Lurleen B. Wallace Community College (LBWCC), located
in Andalusia, Al., with a full-ride athletic scholarship – the first scholarship signing for JMPHS in history. JMPHS staff and members of Brown's family gathered around to give Brown their full support and celebrate this momentous occasion.
Brown is the daughter of Markesha Thomas and Dennis R. Thomas, Jr., of Madison, and the granddaughter of Pearlie Williams. Brown played softball for South Georgia Friction and demonstrated great talent during this time, where she played short stop, third base and outfield.
Also joining Brown at the ceremony were her aunt and uncle, Kristin Thompson and Derrick Thompson, of Tallahassee, and her three siblings, Khaleb Thomas, Tamarianna Thomas and Zoey Joseph.
“I have pushed her since day one,” said Markesha Thomas. “The harder the push, the bigger the success.”
JMPHS staff were particularly proud of Brown because, throughout her four years at JMPHS, she faced much adversity before she was able to reach this accomplishment.
“She had to fight to make it work,” said School Counselor Lynsei Love. “Six months ago, she didn't know what she wanted to do with her life.”
Love wanted the freshman students present at the ceremony to see that Brown is a true testament that success is possible, “as long as you never give up and push yourself hard.”
“Although she graduated early, [Brown] worked very hard,” said JMPHS Principal Scot Bunch. “She fought the system for a little bit before she persevered and realized that [the JMPHS administration] loved her. This is her future, so she's got something to go for now.”
Bunch also gave much praise to Coach Earl Deihl, who has been with Brown since her days on the T-ball field, for getting Brown into a college that was the right fit for her.
Tiffany Taylor, the softball coach at LBWCC, is looking forward to adding Brown to the Lady Saints family.
“Cindy is an all-around athlete, which really interested me because she is very versatile,” said Taylor. “She has a good glove with a great arm. Not only is she a great athlete, but she has a great attitude and work ethic. Cindy is going to be a great asset to the program and I expect her to do big things.”
Eternally grateful for those who supported her throughout her journey, Brown simply wants to thank everyone who has been there for her throughout her journey, especially Coach Deihl.
Brown will be playing softball for the LBWCC Lady Saints and plans on pursuing an Associate's degree in Nursing.