Student Spotlight – Cheer Year After Year

Seniors Brianna Foy and Eva Grace McCrory have been Hillcrest Cougars for the past 15 years; both girls began school together in Mrs. Dana Stratton’s K-3 class. They have also supported one another and our athletes as cheerleaders, beginning as Cougar Kittens while still in elementary school. With graduation rapidly approaching and their future plans taking them on different paths, these young ladies will no longer see each other daily; however, the memories they have created together throughout the years will ensure their continued friendship.

Brianna Foy has loved being a cheerleader; and while she has spent many years promoting happiness and encouraging her fellow Cougars to excel, she recognizes that it is important to have boundaries as well.  She wisely advises younger students, “Do not make yourself unhappy by trying to please everyone else around you.” Outside of school, she also enjoys baking sweets, dancing, and hanging out with her family, boyfriend, and friends. Brianna uses her leadership skills and her strengths for planning and organizing to keep her grades well above average; this has sealed her place as a long-standing member of National Honor Society. However, she shares some of the credit for her academic success with her instructors; in fact, Bri exclaims, “All teachers at Hillcrest are great!” Among her favorites, though, she lists “Mr. Ryan because he has been the only math teacher to make math stick in my brain, and Mrs. Massey and Mrs. Bridges because I can go to them with anything, and they are ready to help.”

Brianna also wants to help people in her future; she plans to attend Holmes Community College beginning in the fall. Upon completion of an associate’s degree, she will transfer to Mississippi State University to pursue pre-med, with the eventual goal of attending the University of Mississippi Medical Center and becoming an anesthesiologist. She is well aware that the course she has plotted is a difficult one, but her favorite Bible verse encourages her: Psalm 46:5 states, “God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.” Brianna says, “It reminds me that no matter where I go in life, as long as I have Christ, I can accomplish anything.”

Eva Grace McCrory believes that making people happy and helping them laugh when they’re sad is one of her strengths. She has used this gift as a Diamond Girl for the baseball team over the last 3 years, and as a cheerleader for most of her life, serving as Varsity Captain this year and co-captain in her 9th and 11th-grade years. Cheerleading has even been the source of many of her favorite memories. One of those occurred at her 4th birthday party, which (of course!) was cheer themed. She states, “All the varsity cheerleaders came to my house and painted our faces and played with us.” Along with her talent for sharing her happy nature, Eva further cites her willingness to give people the benefit of the doubt and to stand up for the things she believes in and cares about — “like my school, friends, and family” — as her best qualities. She wants to encourage younger students at Hillcrest to do the same when she shares, “Be different, stay confident in everything you do. There will always be someone who doesn’t agree with you or even like you. Even though it’s hard, never change your ways or who you are.”

When she’s not cheering on her fellow Cougars at school, Eva Grace enjoys spending time with friends and family, tanning, eating Taco Bell, watching Netflix, and dancing along with her favorite music. “Sometimes,” she says, “I even have mini concerts in my room.” She recognizes, however, that her future plans are going to leave little time for these activities. After her graduation in May, Eva plans to attend Delta State University in order to become an NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) nurse, a profession which will allow her to continue to comfort others, as she has always loved to do.