Sarasota News Leader


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OVERCOMING HARDSHIPS Michael Jones (left) accepts his check during the Most Improved Students program on April 17. Photo by Scott Proffitt SARASOTA COUNTY STUDENTS HONORED FOR THEIR PERSEVERANCE By Scott Proffitt Staff Writer Kayla Wilkins, now a senior at Booker High, suffers from Myasthenia gravis, a debilitating and life-threatening illness that left her on a respirator with a collapsed lung and homebound for more than a year. Kelly Anne Altenbernd, who also goes to Booker High, was born with a type of multiple sclerosis. She has endured injuries, surgery and a lot of missed school hours. Nonetheless, she has maintained a 3.6 grade point average But she fought back, worked hard and will and plans to attend the University of Florida, attend college next year. She wants to major where she wants to major in education. in chemistry. Michael Jones, another Booker High senior, Callie Marie Murphie attends Sarasota High School. She also works more than 35 hours a week to support herself, and she tutors other students. She will be attending the National Aviation Academy next year. was a highly decorated athlete who suffered severe knee injuries in combination with a drop in his grades. This all happened as his family suffered a financial downturn. Yet, as a result of his efforts to improve his academic

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