Rosie Sykes was born and raised in Athens. She attended Timothy Road Elementary, Whitehead Road Elementary, Burney-Harris-Lyons Middle School and will soon be graduating from Clarke Central High School and the Career Academy. While in high school, Rosie played saxophone in the band, and played on the JV and Varsity softball teams. She served as the Vice President of the Clarke Central Black Culture Club, and started the Students of Color Achieving and Pursuing Excellence (SCAPE) club, which works to help minority freshmen get involved with AP classes and prepare for careers and college after graduation. Rosie also served as a Career Academy Ambassador and was a member of the Community Service Club. She also works at the Athens YMCA. After graduation, Rosie plans to attend Georgia State University to study Early Childhood Education and possibly minor in Graphic Design. Rosie lives on the Westside of Athens with her mom Stephanie, dad Reginald, two sisters, Alyshia and Imani and their dogs Princess, King and Coco.
What was your favorite class in high school?
Probably my freshman math class with Jennifer Webb. It was just a lot of fun. I don’t usually like math like that, but my teacher made it very fun for me, very joyful and I had success in that class.
When we are not sheltering in place, what is your favorite thing to do in Athens?
I enjoy going to the YMCA. At first I volunteered there, and was Counselor in Training, helping out with the kids in different ways. Then I moved up to staff when I was old enough and now work there during the school year in the Child Watch program and I really like that. It’s one thing that led me to want to study early childhood education in college and want to become a teacher.
How are you spending all of the extra time you have at home?
I’ve been spending a lot of time with my parents. We’ve gotten into playing games and stuff. Also there is a lake by my house so I go there. I’ve also been walking my dogs a lot more; doing more puzzles and word searches and drawing and just getting closer to my family.
If you could travel anywhere in the world with no restrictions in place, where would you go and why?
I’ve always wanted to go to India. One reason is the colorful culture there, and I just want to go and enjoy the food and experience that culture.
If you could see any band or show, dead or alive, who would it be and where?
I’d love to see the Alabama Shakes, maybe somewhere in downtown Athens like the Georgia Theatre or the Morton Theatre.
If you could have lunch with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and where?
Probably Nina Simone. I would have a picnic with her somewhere. I’ve always loved her music and her voice. I’ve seen documentaries about her but it would be so cool to talk to her in person about her life and career.
If you could give advice to someone just entering high school, what would you tell them?
Take it as seriously as possible. Although Freshman year is probably one of the easier years, it only gets harder from there. Also, don’t always just follow your friends, because they might not be your friends in the long run. I worked really hard and there were times when I thought I couldn’t do it anymore but I kept at it and I did well and will be going to college, so it all really paid off in the end.
Do you have a favorite movie or television series?
One show I’ve really gotten into lately is on Netflix it’s called Dear White People. I could just watch it over and over.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
I get good advice from my mom and my older sister. My older sister was kind of the guinea pig and she didn’t really have anyone before her to give her advice and help her figure things out, but she has inspired me to do good because she is always like, “you are going to be fine.” She’s a Sophomore in college right now and she’s given me advice about college, like: “it’s not going to be the same as high school. Stay focused. You’re on your own now and it’s all up to you; you are responsible for all you do.” She is already at Georgia State, so we’ll soon be going to the same school and that will be great, because if I need anything she’ll be there to help me out.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
In ten years I see myself hopefully with enough money to live in Los Angeles or New York. I’m a very creative person, so if my early childhood thing doesn’t work out I would like to take an artistic approach to something like graphic design, so maybe working for a graphic design company and living in a cool studio in New York or LA.
What are three words or phrases that come to mind when you think of the word “home”?
Family. Comfort. Fun.