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Academic Student Spotlight – Brayden Alford

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Brayden Alford is a West Lauderdale senior expected to graduate in May 2024. When asked if he wants to attend college after high school, Alford stated, “Absolutely. I’m looking at several colleges right now. I don’t have a set location but I spent some time at Mississippi State. I would love to be a future Bulldog!” He doesn’t have a specific major in mind yet but is very interested in “chemistry, aerospace engineering, or maybe even chemical engineering.” Overall, Alford says he’ll have to figure out his major sooner or later.

 This year, 2023, Alford has received the Rural Town National Recognition Award. This award provides a full-ride scholarship to colleges such as Ole Miss and The University of Alabama at Birmingham. Recognizing this award, he claimed, “I was very excited but I’m not very interested in those schools. It was just very nice to kind of see it.” At the beginning of September, Alford found out he was a National Merit Semifinalist, which is not an easy task. This is a huge accomplishment for him since he knew he had done well on his PSAT and that it would help him get into colleges or gain scholarships. Alford was also awarded highest honors for AP Chemistry back in May. However, he remarks that all these awards “have nothing on my most important reward,” which was the art reward he won as a freshman.

Regarding personal attributes about himself, Alford’s favorite book is Harry Potter: The Half Blood Prince, a novel by J. K. Rowling; also, his favorite movie and food are Interstellar and sushi. When asked about his childhood memories, he stated that his favorite game as a child was Minecraft because “the room it allowed for creativity was something special.” One thing Alford says that people don’t know about him is, “I believe when I was in 7th grade, I went to Washington, D.C. and I actually got in so much trouble with my mom that she spanked me in front of the White House. This was when Donald Trump was in office.” He claims that he feels that Trump “probably looked out his window and saw some southern mother going ‘I told you not to flip that bottle and now you’re flipping that bottle!’”

As a message to the underclassmen and future incoming freshmen, Alford expresses some advice. He says, “Don’t be afraid of AP courses. They’re not equal as some are more difficult than others. AP Chemistry is nothing like AP U.S. History, so I would say asking the upperclassmen about their experiences is very important. The AP lifestyle is not as terrifying as they make it to be.” Alford also thinks that studying for the PSAT will help the underclassmen set themselves up for success. He believes this helps them be able to obtain scholarships and higher chances at their dream colleges.

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About the Contributor
Shae McDuffey, Reporter
Greetings, I’m Shae McDuffey and I’m a junior here at West Lauderdale. I’ve loved to write since forever and now I’ve jumped on the opportunity to write for the newspaper. I can’t wait to report and write this school year!
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