Slater Smith To Attend Yale University On Full Scholarship
BY LOUIS C. WARD
Photo Cutline: Slater Smith and Grandmother Phyllis Green
LAKE COUNTY - He was born premature, weighing less than 4 pounds. Now, he’s 6’ 1”, valedictorian of his 2017 Wildwood Middle High School graduating class, and will be attending Yale University on a full scholarship next fall semester.
The epitome of a student who survived struggles and conquered his obstacles against all odds and made it, Slater Smith has always maintained at least a 4.0 grade point average (GPA) throughout high school experience, and plans to study physics and linguistics at Yale.
After completing his advanced placement classes in a dual enrollment program at Lake Sumter State College, Slater not only received his high school diploma, but also an Associate of Arts degree, and was named valedictorian at graduation in May.
A student with a good work ethic, who enjoys learning on his own, Slater said, “I can motivate myself to learn what I want outside of the school environment. I think it’s really fun educating myself.”
Slater is not into sports, but loves drawing figures and portraits with graphite pencils, and he’s very good at it. He submitted his portfolio to Yale University. He also liked being a member of the I.Q. Club’s Quiz Bowl, “which asks questions about everything and anything, and encouraged me to study things on my own time so we could be the better team,” revealed Slater
Slater’s mother died from the results of a car accident a short time after she gave birth to him, and he credits the role his grandmother played in his life for helping to get him where he is today. “I’m blessed,” said Slater, referring to the support and love he received from his grandmother, Phyllis Green, who raised Slater after she took him home from the hospital when he was only a month old.
My grandma, Slater said, “was really supportive. She couldn’t help me with the academics, but she made sure I got to school and stayed healthy. She made it possible for me to be able to focus on my school work, my academics, and not have to worry about the other stuff.”
“It was very hard for me to lose my daughter,” said Grandmother Green. “Slater was a blessing for me too. It was the help of God that gave me the strength to survive it. It was very amazing for me. Everybody wants to be happy and get the best they can get”
Slater was thrilled when he received his letter of acceptance from Yale University, but he was also accepted at Duke University, Brown University, Stetson University, and the University of South Florida
He’s quick to admit it all wasn’t easy for him and his grandmother. “We had struggles, and we dealt with the struggles, but we made it through.”
Scoring high on the SAT and ACT, Slater advises students who want to succeed academically to “always push yourself, it’s not talent, but it’s hard work. Keep studying and one day it will click.”