Top Senior Bryclyn Jefferson

Meet 13 Tallahassee Magazine scholars on a mission to make a difference

Photo by Saige Roberts

They’re eager to explore the world. Most of all, they’re determined to change it.

Tallahassee Magazine’s Top Seniors for 2020 aspire to careers in law, writing, teaching, science, health care, pharmacy, therapy, diplomacy, urban planning, military service, environmentalism and veterinary medicine.

Florida High’s Nicholas Kraemer says he wants to start by learning more about the world. “I want to find solutions to complex problems and expand the extent of human scientific knowledge,” he said.

Some plan to champion women’s issues or to use an advanced degree, including in law, to help protect the most vulnerable. In response to a question about the person who inspires them the most, two named Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan.

All became our Top Seniors based on nominations from 13 high schools in Tallahassee and Thomasville, Georgia. We asked a guidance counselor from each of those high schools to send us the name of a graduating senior of good character who was well rounded in academics and extracurricular activities — and who was going places, as we put it.

We then asked each Top Senior to complete a questionnaire that asked general questions including: post-graduation plans, serious questions including a local, national or global problem they’d like to solve; and light-hearted questions, including what they considered their spirit animal.

“Sometimes I’m like a bottlenose dolphin, analytical and caring, but other days I’m like a black tip shark, a little bit feisty and willing to fight till the end,” wrote Leon High’s Lily Rogers.

You’ll find some of the Top Seniors’ responses, edited for length and clarity, on the following pages, and you’ll find their full responses at

Some of our favorite responses came from our question about whether the students saw the world as a glass half empty or half full. Our group of thinkers and scientists taught us a thing or two. Wrote Madeleine Roberts of Maclay School, who listed professor as her dream job: “Technically, the glass is completely full; let’s not forget the nitrogen, oxygen and other miscellaneous gas molecules bouncing around.”

Bryclyn Jefferson – Rickards High Schooltea

Post-graduation plans: To attend Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University to obtain my BSN in nursing. I dual enrolled there.

Dream job: Nurse practitioner specializing in pediatrics. 

One problem she’d like to solve: Gun violence. It’s heartbreaking to see families lose sons and daughters at such a young age due to this problem. It is heartbreaking to see my peers losing their lives to ignorance because of miscommunication. Over the past few years, we’ve lost more teenagers and young adults than I can count on TWO hands, and it seems like people are just ignoring it. The teenagers in my community are in desperate need of guidance and a positive outlet. 

One person, dead or alive, to have dinner with: My cousin Remiah, who passed away in October. I just want the chance to talk to her one last time. 

Glass half empty or half full: Half full. I’m a firm believer in “Nothing lasts forever,” good or bad, and there’s power in the tongue, so you must speak greatness over your life versus negativity. 

Favorite Tallahassee characteristic: The parks and gardens (Dorothy B. Oven and Maclay). They’re so beautiful once the flowers have bloomed. They’re so peaceful and perfect places for pictures. 

Categories: Top Seniors 2020