Amiana Grady, a sophomore at Maryville College, takes a whole-person approach to social challenges and is using her college years, not only to grow for her own future, but to make a difference in the world. She has served at the Boys and Girls Club of Blount County and Emerald Youth Foundation of Knoxville, TN, serving as a tutor and mentor to young people, and helping them develop their gifts of creativity, perseverance, and intellect.. She has recently begun serving at the Blount Memorial Wellness Center, to gain more skills for her major in health and wellness promotion, with an emphasis on nutrition. Whether in an academic setting, where she leads her peers to deeper questions about the social implications of course materials, or through her Bonner Scholarship service, Amiana includes those who are left out, works diligently until the task is done, organizes events with an eye toward detail, and takes responsibility for helping each of her communities grow in strength and justice.
Growing up in a known city, Knoxville, TN, where I was surrounded by violence and poverty changed my perspective. During Middle School, my grandmother created a group with young ladies from my school and community. With this group we did community service all over Knoxville. I carried that with me during my High School career. I was able to take college courses in High School and it helped me realize I wanted to continue to make a difference. Once college came around, I applied to Maryville College and that is when I became a Bonner Scholar. This allowed me to serve with underprivileged children at the Boys and Girls Club. Serving there for a year and a half, I saw many things that needed improvement in children's life. Thus, I was able to have a program with them where they learned about Nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. Now I have started a volunteer/ internship with Blount Memorial Wellness Center and I will be working on a project that could decrease obesity in young children. My passion is to give children the life they deserve regardless of social status, so they can have the guidance to become whatever they desire.