[slideshow_deploy id=’84034′]For senior Emily Colvin, achieving a perfect GPA did not pose her biggest challenge. Instead, it was striking a balance between her athletics, academics and sleep schedule that posed the biggest challenge.

“I always had to make sure I made the time for homework and studying and make sure that stays a priority,” Colvin said. “I had to make sure the practices and games weren’t too much. Before games, I would just knock out homework so I wouldn’t stay up late.”

Colvin rose in her academics and extracurricular activities. She aced her 12 Advanced Placement courses, earning recognition as an AP Distinguished Scholar. She was a member of the National Honor Society and Math Club, and she was the Mu Alpha Theta secretary. Colvin, the Metro Scholar Athlete of the Year for basketball, also captained the girls basketball team her senior year and flag football team her junior and senior years.

Her rise to excellence was not without hiccups. In her sophomore year, Colvin tore her labrum in her left shoulder and had to overcome both the physical and academic hurdles associated with recovery and missing school.

“I missed school for the surgery, but then I couldn’t use one arm. It was just a lot to catch up on. It was a really humbling experience because of the limitations I experienced,” Colvin said. “I realized how much I had going for me. With that, it kind of helped me formulate what I want, like to keep sports a part of my life and keep a good work ethic. I didn’t want to just sit there like a log. It made me a humbler, harder working person.”

While Colvin valued hard work and perseverance, she considers her mother to be her greatest motivator to excel in school.

“[My mom] always finds the positives in everything I do,” Colvin said. “It makes me want to work harder for her. She makes me want to be a better person and live up to my potential.”

To follow in her parents’ footsteps, Colvin will pursue a double major in mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of Florida in the fall.

“I set my goal to go there as a child; my parents went there and I grew up around that,” Colvin said. “To achieve the academic and extracurricular success to get in is my proudest achievement.”

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