Camelot Student Prospers Thanks to Teacher’s Kindness
In the modern world one often hears stories of a person in distress and no one lifts a finger to help. But that’s not what happened when Camelot educator Andrea Jewett learned that a student she knew had no place to live.
It started in the summer of 2015 when Miosha Watts, now 18, needed a home because of family problems. Watts, according to Jewett, had been in trouble with the law. Previously she was in a Dept. of Juvenile Justice school before coming to the transitional school of Camelot Academy of Escambia County, Pensacola, Florida.
“I knew her since she enrolled in our school in 2010,” Jewett said. Jewett, who is the school’s director of education, said Watts was set up on a fast-track graduation program. “She had seven credits to make up. We set her up with a double-block for four credits and she and I stayed three nights a week. She completed her other courses online. She was doing well, but rarely spoke of her family. I didn’t see any problems other than she was tired sometimes. In April of last year her demeanor changed and that was when she disclosed there were some family issues.”
Despite Watts’ fractured family life she was determined to graduate. Jewett said when Watts set her mind to accomplish something, she did it. She graduated from the academy with a 3.6 GPA and was determined to get into college.
Problems on the family front worsened and in the middle of August, Jewett discovered Watts had no place to live.
“I took her in,” Jewett said, who lives on a farm. “She stayed with us for the rest of the year. She helped around the farm, feeding and caring for the animals; which she took pride in. She became very focused and volunteered to work in a local high school’s library. She became a mentor for freshman students who had a troubled background like she did. All of this really boosted her self-esteem. She became more motivated than ever.”
Jewett said that Watts tried to get into Pensacola State College, but off campus living was too expensive. Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College accepted her right away. But Watts still had some hurdles to leap over; proper identification documents, an independent waiver from her family situation.
“My family helped her every step of the way. She obtained a full Pell grant and a full scholarship from a local fraternity. We got her everything she needed to start college. When Mississippi accepted her she was ecstatic,” Jewett said. “She later told me she had never been out of Florida so for Christmas we went to the Smokey Mountains and stayed for a week before she was due to start school.”
Watts, who is excelling, keeps in touch with her benefactor through a mutual friend. Watts decided to deactivate her personal cell phone and Facebook page; cutting ties with anyone in Pensacola who could bring her down or derail her goals.
“Miosha is taking five classes right now and has joined the college choir,” said Jewett. “She is very excited about it. She said the busier she stays, the less time she has to get into any trouble. This was a good experience and everything turned out well for her. If the opportunity presented itself, I’d do it all again.”