As he wraps up his junior year, 17-year-old McKinley Habersham is thriving in his first year at Memorial Day School in Savannah, Ga., a school he is able to attend through a scholarship from the AAA Scholarship Foundation. It’s hard to imagine that only a year ago, while still coping with the tragic loss of his father, McKinley was struggling academically and had lost all interest in any future ambitions.
For most of his life, McKinley had done very well in school, including earning a regular spot on his public school’s honor roll. However, tragedy struck the Habersham family in 2008, when McKinley’s father passed away during the explosion at the Imperial Sugar Factory. McKinley was crushed and while therapy helped him deal with his emotions, his mother, Latesha Habersham, saw it as the starting point of his dwindling interest and ambition in school.