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As She Graduates, Phantasia Chavers Finds Peace With Herself And Her Future

Lara Solt
KERA News special contributor
Phantasia Chavers walks into the arena for her graduation from Cedar Hill High School on Friday, May 26.

At this time four years ago, Phantasia Chavers of Cedar Hill was struggling with her sister’s departure for college. Today, it’s Phantasia who’s getting ready to pack her bags.

At the beginning of her freshman year at Cedar Hill High School, Phantasia Chavers and her family held a going-away party for her older sister, Jaquaylla Williams.

Phantasia was already looking ahead to her senior year and graduation.

“People can see I did more. And I have opportunities," Phantasia says. "Even though she had opportunities because she was really smart, I wanna have more. Colleges just want me.”

That dream came true. This fall, she’ll head to Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma. With scholarships and financial aid, she says she’s practically going to college for free.

"It was the last school I wanted to go to, but they offered me the most and they’re reaching out, and they sent me letters with prayers, and they had their counselors actually hand-sign it, so it wasn’t one of the stamps that they have in their offices," she says. "That really meant a lot to me.”

Phantasia is excited about life after high school, but graduation last weekend was kind of bittersweet.

Read the entire story about Phantasia -- she's one of seven North Texas teens we've been following since 8th grade in our American Graduate series, Class of '17.

Stella M. Chávez is KERA’s immigration/demographics reporter/blogger. Her journalism roots run deep: She spent a decade and a half in newspapers – including seven years at The Dallas Morning News, where she covered education and won the Livingston Award for National Reporting, which is given annually to the best journalists across the country under age 35.