THS valedictorian set to attend Georgia Tech, pursue a future in data science

Published 9:00 am Saturday, April 29, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Troup High Valedictorian Maya Billingslea thanked her parents, Carrie and Zeke, and her sisters, Zoe and Sophie, for their guidance as she worked hard to make her way through high school. And now, she’s looking forward to a future in data science.

Billingslea said she felt blessed and honored to be named Troup High’s valedictorian.

“It has been very exciting but also a little stressful. I think it’s cool to have this honor — it took a lot of work, and I feel blessed I got it after everything,” Billingslea said. “At the moment, it felt like everything was worth it and was coming into place.”

As she pens her speech for the graduation ceremony, Billingslea said she’s created a few rough drafts.

“Right now, I’ve made points about what I want to say, and I have a few ideas,” Billingslea said. “It’s taking some time, but I’m trying to figure out how to intertwine all of it and make it flow better.”

Billingslea said she credits her family for her academic success.

“I would not be where I am without my parents. Even though they are somewhat strict, they really give me a chance to do what I want to do and push myself rather than feeling pressured to do it. As long as I do my best, they’re happy,” Billingslea said.

“My older sister, Zoe, was a big influence on me and really helped me pick the type of classes I should take. Anytime I needed help with something or had a problem she would always be there for me — my younger sister, Sophie too.”

During her time in high school, Billingslea was involved in many organizations including Troup Ambassadors, Beta Club, Interact, National Honor Society and in her freshman and junior year, volleyball.

As her time as a high schooler approaches its end, Billingslea said she will miss her friends the most.

“I will definitely miss how close everyone is together. Madison (salutatorian) and I had the same classes since the sixth grade, and I’ve really grown to connect with a lot of the people I’ve shared classes with. I am going to miss those friendships,” Billingslea said.

After graduation, Billingslea said she plans to attend Georgia Tech and major in mathematics.

“I want to go into data science. It’s a lot of like business, computer science and mathematics, and I felt like majoring in mathematics with a concentration in statistics would help prepare me for that. I also love math so felt like a great fit,” Billingslea said.

As the class of 2024 awaits their turn on the big stage, Billingslea advises them of a few things.

“Don’t be afraid to try new things and push yourself to do better because people are capable of doing more than they think they are. Also, make sure you make the time to maintain all your relationships with your friends and family,” she said.