Humphreys valedictorian has big plans
Remember the name Tamilya Thomas.
The 2020 Humphreys High School valedictorian has already accomplished what most could only dream of in a college career.
The aspiring nurse practitioner is the daughter of Bobby and Tammy Thomas of Isola.
Her dad, a police officer at Mississippi Valley State University, is an Inverness native. It is at Shady Grove Missionary Baptist Church in his hometown where Tamilya sings in the choir and participates in other activities.
Her mother is a retired school teacher, who taught in the Humphreys County system.
“From a small age, my parents instilled in me education, academics and God,” Thomas told The E-T in a recent interview. “That is what I base my life on, God first, and everything else falls into place.”
Thomas’s many talents have already taken her across the country, where she has competed and offered motivation for others.
“As a small child, I always wanted to make sure that my grades were up and I was on top of everything in school, and it followed me through my high school years, and that’s how I got to where I am now,” she said.
Thomas has been giving motivational speeches since she was 10 years old, and she has been singing and performing in pageants since before then.
She participated in the Shakespearean Summer Scene Fest at the Greenwood Little Theater, where she played many roles.
Three years ago, she participated in the Alpha Kappa Alpha Fashionetta Pageant and won first place in three categories.
A year later, she performed in the NAACP ACT-SO Poetry program and won first place, which allowed her to travel to San Antonio, Texas to compete nationally.
Later that year, she competed in the Omega Psi Phi Talent Hunt where she again won first place for poetry.
Last year, she went to Washington, D.C. to participate in the Democracy in Action Workshop.
Although poetry and public speaking have come naturally to the senior, science has been her passion since the ninth grade, she said.
“When I was in the ninth grade, I started taking biology and studying the human body and things like that,” she said.
Thomas plans to attend the University of Southern Mississippi in the fall and begin work toward becoming a nurse practitioner.
She plans to one day return to Humphreys County and open a family medical practice near her hometown.
Tamilya is a Superintendent Scholar at Humphreys County. She is also a member of the Beta Club, Student Council Association, Sisters of Sophistical and the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council.
She was also president for Jobs for Mississippi Graduates for the 2017-18 school year, and she served a second term this year.
She is president of the high school choir, a member of Youth with Vision Choir and she is a part of the Sunflower-Humphreys County Project Listen program.
While attending MVSU’s HBCU-UP III program (STEM), she was awarded with the outstanding English/Communication student performance certificate.