Student Spotlight: High school freshman gets an opportunity to study at top U.S. law school

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A freshman high school student at Scholars Academy at Coastal Carolina University has received a unique opportunity to visit one of the top law schools in the country.

T'Asia Smalls, 15, of Loris, has been academically and artistically gifted since she began school, and she's taking every opportunity to pursue her passions, law and music.

"I'm taking Algebra 3, English 2 Honors, and I am taking AP Government, and at Coastal I am taking a guitar class and I'm in chorus," said Smalls.

Enrolled in college courses, she working towards earning her Bachelor's Degree, with a major in pre-law. She says she is dedicated to her studies.  "I have these goals that I set for myself everyday like, I have this amount of homework so I am going to do this and later on I might work on some music stuff," said Smalls.

At First, T'Asia may seem soft spoken, but the bright young lady, has strong voice for law, racial inequality, and injustice. Her passion for law began when she did an English paper on George Stinney, an African American who was sent to the electric chair for supposedly killing two white girls.

Her in-depth research, on George Stinney, a 14-year-old boy said to be the youngest executed in the state of South Carolina, has earned her state recognition. "We were really passionate about this, so we got in touch with advocate, who was really in touch with the case, and he was very proud of us," said T'Asia.

T'Asia's passion for academic excellence displayed as she achieved academic success in every area of study ranging from reading and writing to singing and playing musical instruments. Named the top reader in her school, she's part of the Junior and Senior Beta Club Member, she has been recognized as a South Carolina Junior Scholar, and she has been an Honor Student her entire time enrolled in school.

Based on her high academic achievements, she has been selected to attend Envision Intensive Law & Trial at Stanford Law School in California. The Stanford Law School program chooses an elite group of high school to spend two weeks, learning about the fundamentals of law, mock trial simulation, and learning and getting expert advice from some of the county's most prestigious law professionals. "I hope to gain more insight into the career that I want to go into," said T'Asia talking about how it would be an amazing experience to attend the program.

Not only does she excel academically, she is a gifted musical student, and she strums to her own tune, teaching herself how to play piano and currently learning guitar from professors at Coastal Carolina University.

"My family has a background of music, so I have my little sister, and my dad, and  granddad, music was all around me," explained T'Asia.

She says she is focused on her goals, and music is one chord she will use to get her there. "When I am listening to music or playing music if I really feel sad I will feel better after I go into the music world," explained T'Asia.

Her musical talents has earned her another opportunity. T'Asia will also spend two weeks this summer at the South Carolina's Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities, part of a summer program called Discovery. The music curriculum helps students by focus on study and performance on individual instruments, and also learning the fundamentals of music.

T'Asia has to raise at least $7,000 to cover all expenses to be able to attend Stanford Law School in July. If you would like to T'Asia Smalls, click here to learn more about her gofundme account.

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