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Skylar Hughes' Journey to Duke University

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Skylar Hughes, a Senior at Grayson High School located in Georgia, was recently accepted into Duke University's class of 2025! Even with the unexpected loss of her mother in 2016, she has continuously strived to make her parents (James and Rasheda Hughes) and family proud through excelling in academics, ballet, and community activism. 

Ballet: Beginning at just three years old, Skylar’s parents enrolled her into the Northeast Atlanta Ballet Company. Skylar’s love for ballet further blossomed her warm and bubbly personality. She went on to dance for nearly 15 years, participating in more than 25 performances. She also taught ballet to other young women between the ages of 5-15.

Honors and Awards: Skylar maintains a 4.1 GPA, and received an astonishing score of 33 on her ACT exam. She was also nominated for the 2020-2021 United States Presidential Scholar Award, and was an Anti-Defamation League “No Place for Hate” Award recipient. 

Community Activism: Skylar has dedicated over 200 hours to community service. This includes her participation in the DoSomething Club, which facilitates community-wide campaigns related to mental health awareness and Black Lives Matter initiatives. She was also involved in a Marine Conservation Club, formed to facilitate several marine conservation educational seminars in her school and community.

Skylar has dreamed of attending Duke University her entire childhood. She was selected to participate in Duke’s Marine Science Field of Studies Program in 2019, in which she participated in a three-week albedo effect research project. Her once in a lifetime experience solidified her dream of attending this prestigious university. She awaited the acceptance results for 16 anxious hours, just to make sure her mother could be a part of this beautiful moment. 

Our family has established a GoFundMe Fundraiser to support Skylar with tuition and fees over her four-year voyage at Duke. 

Congratulations Skylar! We love you!


  • Linda Ward
    • $15 
    • 1 yr
  • Kelley Williams
    • $40 
    • 1 yr
  • Mary Walker
    • $50 
    • 1 yr
  • Anonymous
    • $5 
    • 1 yr
  • Anonymous
    • $5 
    • 1 yr

Organizer and beneficiary

Laniece Blackmon
Loganville, GA
James Hughes

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