Salutations, Samori

Salutations, Samori

By RJ Townsend 

Eighth grade is one of the years that passes quickly and is seen as a chance to breathe before your high school career starts. 

Not for Samori McKell-Jeffers. This is where his future took off. 

He started getting high school credits in eighth grade, a year before most kids at Delta High School. He’s known what he wanted to do since he was 14. Samori will be entering college to study pre-medical or physically therapy this upcoming fall. 

As a 16-year-old, he’s taken the chance to graduate early after his junior year. 

When he was an eighth grader, he was allowed to take a foreign language class. This benefitted him in a few different ways. 

At DHS, students must take at least three years of foreign language for the Academic Honors Diploma. Since he was offered the course a year early, this caused him to think about his future.

“It meant I could knock out my three years of foreign language before junior was over,” Samori said. “I just wanted to graduate early because I wanted to go into a career in the medical field.”

When he arrived at the high school he knew he had to get clarification on whether his plan was possible. Samori’s mom took charge of that. Wanting the best for him, she set up a meeting for one of the first days of his freshman year.

This is where Mr. Roger Spaulding, school counselor, comes in. Spaulding has been a counselor for 17 years, including the past four years at Delta.

He said graduating early “ultimately has to be a family decision.”  He added that Samori has been one to remember. 

“He’s great. So he’s going to be successful at the next level wherever he goes,” Spaulding said.

Samori is memorable not only because of his academics and focus but also because he will be only the second student Spaulding has worked with to graduate so early. 

So what makes Samori so different from his peers? He maintains a near-total focus on school and sports. He knows how difficult it can be to be in a medical profession so he tries his hardest and always stays on task in class.

“If you know about the medical field, you know they require a lot of schooling,” Samori said.

Samori is also sacrificing his actual senior year of high school in the hope he will get through the long years of pre-med earlier than normal. He brought up prom and his senior year of soccer, but says that “it will be better for myself in the future.” 

This proves his ambition and perseverance.  

But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have fun. Samori is hard to miss. With a bright smile and being super social, Samori is someone you can make quick friends with. 

palmer samori jesus and pat
Samori McKell-Jeffers (left) enjoys a moment with Palmer Phillips (center), Jesus Dominguez (back) and Patrick Ginder (right) at the Homecoming picnic. (Photo Provided)

Samori was the starting goalkeeper on the boys’ soccer team and was named all-Hoosier Heritage Conference and first team all-district. Being a part of the team taught Samori even more about hard work and team leading. The friends he’s made at soccer view him as a key part of the organization. 

When he told them about his plan to graduate early, one student who has looked up to Samori the most, had some stronger feelings about it. The freshman goalie, Alex Wilkinson, has learned a lot from Samori this past season. He thinks it is bittersweet to see him go.

“I’m really glad he was my mentor, and I’m sad he’s leaving,” Alex said. “He brought a lot of joy to the team.”

Samori applied to local and faraway colleges such as Indiana University in Bloomington, Butler University in Indianapolis, the University of Dayton in Ohio, and even as far as Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, N.C.

He’s not only looking at their academic programs, but he’s also looking at their soccer and sports success. Samori is holding off on his choice to make the best decision for himself.

He’s already applied to about 25 different universities and has been accepted by close to 20, including the four listed above. He also recently received his first soccer offer to the University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis. We will just have to see where he goes. 

December 14, 2023

About Author

Avatar photo

RJ Townsend RJ Townsend is a sophomore at Delta High School. She enjoys going to school events, going out with friends, and traveling. She is also a fan of the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Detroit Red Wings.


We are addicted to WordPress development and provide Easy to using & Shine Looking themes selling on ThemeForest.

Tel : (000) 456-7890
Email :