Options a Family Affair for the Redds
By Sheron Smith
As a senior at Bibb County's Westside High School, Marques Redd
jumped at the chance to take Macon State College classes through
the Postsecondary Options program.
Marquita and Marques Redd, shown
here in the Macon State library are siblings who got a headstart
on college through the Postsecondary Options program. Marques
is now a student at Harvard University. Marquita will graduate
from Westside High School this spring.
The first class he took was English Composition I from Dr. Alan
Bickford. The experience proved valuable for Redd the following
fall when, as a Harvard University freshman, he enrolled in a required
expository writing class.
"Dr. Bickford's class really prepared me," said Redd,
18, now a Harvard sophomore. "He basically taught us that we
had to take responsibility for our work. There was a constant process
of revising our essays and focusing on doing the best we could.
I think that process of revision brings out the better writer in
Redd set a good example for his younger sister, Marquita, 16, a
Westside senior. Marquita Redd has already taken U.S. history, English
Composition I & II and political science through the Postsecondary
Options program, which is called the College Connection in Bibb
Like her brother, Marquita was drawn to the Macon State classes
not so she could skip courses once she gets to college but to get
an idea of the academic environment that awaits her in the coming
fall. As of early this spring, Redd had narrowed her college choices
to Georgetown, Harvard or the University of Pennsylvania.
"The college professors expect more work from us," she
said. "Just the extra amount of reading has been something
I've had to get used to. But I think it's really going to help me
once I get to college."
The son and daughter of Vernon and Melgenia Redd, both telecommunications
engineers in Macon, Marques and Marquita's involvement with Macon
State dates to their elementary school days. Both participated in
Kaleidoscope, a summer enrichment program offered to gifted students
through Macon State's Continuing Education department, and each
took tennis lessons at the college. They've also attended numerous
plays presented by MSC's Impromptu Players.
"The College Connection was just one in a long line of things
we've done with Macon State," Marques said.
Marques was salutatorian of Westside's Class of 2000 and Bibb County's
STAR student that year, but his most recent claim to fame was his
appearance last fall in the college championship of the TV game
show "Jeopardy." At Harvard, he is a social studies and
African American studies major who plans to either attend law school
or continue on for his master's degree and doctorate to become a
college professor. Marquita plans to major in business and marketing
with an eye on starting her own business someday or becoming marketing
manager for a large firm.
Both are grateful for the role the College Connection has played
in their academic success and say they would recommend that other
high school students take advantage of the opportunity.
"The courses will challenge you in different ways," Marques
said, "and help you aspire to higher levels of learning."