Opp Val, Sal motivate each other

Published 12:02 am Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Opp High School salutatorian Devontae Williams and valedictorian Kayla Baker.

Opp High School salutatorian Devontae Williams and valedictorian Kayla Baker.

“Successful people build each other up. They motivate, inspire, and push each other.”

That’s exactly what Opp High School’s valedictorian Kayla Baker and salutatorian Devontae Williams have done since the second grade.

Both chose to pursue a degree from an Alabama university, but they are pursuing very different paths. Each intends to make a difference in the lives of others.

Baker will attend the University of Montevallo, where she plans to study elementary education.

“I like teaching,” she said. “I like to look at kids’ faces when they learn something new.”

Williams is headed to the University of Alabama, where he will study nutrition and hopes to ultimately become a physical therapist.

The multi-sport athlete will also play basketball for the Crimson Tide.

“This career will give me the opportunity to stay around the game and have an impact on players’ lives,” he said. “I can do something I enjoy.”

The pair had advice for underclassmen.

“Try your best,” Baker said. “It doesn’t matter where you. No matter if you’re 30th or first if you’ve done everything you can do.”

Williams encouraged others to always be themselves.

“Don’t lose yourself regardless of the circumstances,” he said. “Stay true to yourself and you don’t have to worry about it. Always give 110 percent. You’re giving yourself the best chance.”

The duo has multiple scholarships and are involved in numerous activities.

Williams earned a Bryant-Jordan scholar athlete scholarship, Sanbuck scholarship and the University of Alabama Voice of the Tide scholarship.

Baker earned the freshmen leadership scholarship and educational minority scholarship. She is also Mu Alpha Theta president, Beta Club, took six AP classes, is a singer-songwriter and Peer Helper.

Williams is a three-sport athlete playing football, basketball and track, is secretary of Mu Alpha Theta, FFA, FBLA, Ambassador, a Peer Helper and active in his local church youth group.

Baker is the daughter of Bobby and Mia Baker and Williams is the son of LaShae and Bobby Likeley.