ALTON - The Miles Davis Jazz Committee recognized recent Alton High School graduate A’niayah Collins for her academic success and interest in music.

Collins completed high school with an impressive academic and extracurricular record. But when she wasn’t busy with national math honor society Mu Alpha Theta or taking on a leading role in the Minority Excellence program, she could be found with her earbuds in and music playing.

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“Music is like an inspiration to me,” Collins said. “I listen to music every day. It really influences you.”

Music plays such a big role in Collins’s life that she can’t pick a favorite genre. She listens to rap, country and pop music regularly, and she has fond memories of seeing both Nelly and Shania Twain live.

The Miles Davis Jazz Committee awarded her a $500 scholarship, which she will put toward her education at Tuskegee University where she has already received full tuition. The scholarship will help pay for her other expenses as Collins prepares to start this next chapter.

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“I really appreciate the scholarship. It’s helped me so much with college,” Collins said.

She plans to study architecture, with the goal of eventually getting her master’s degree and becoming a registered architect.

Collins has received National Society of High School Scholars and high honor roll recognitions. But it’s her teachers and advisors who most often see Collins’s best work. Jurre Loveless, the advisor to Alton High School’s TRIO group Upward Bound, noted Collins as a promising and well-rounded student.

“If there was ever a student that would be an amazing candidate for this scholarship, A’niayah Collins is the student that deserves it the most,” Loveless said. “She is sure to make a difference when given the opportunity.”

Clearly, the Miles Davis Jazz Committee agrees.

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