tyrell_russell_wb.jpgA former standout student at Suncoast High School in Riviera Beach has become one of only two Florida students to be named a Ron Brown Scholar for 2012. The program, named after the former U.S. Commerce Secretary and Democratic Party Chairman who died in a plane crash in 1996, singles out outstanding African-American students to develop as leaders.

“I am always aware that society tends to analyze my every action with a fine-tooth comb,” Tyrell said. 

“Part of overcoming the adversity is taking that tendency in stride and working that much harder. Growing up and even now, more than ever, I’m very careful of what I do and my surroundings. However, this added weight has shaped me into a more responsible individual.”

In high school, Russell excelled as an outstanding student and active member of the community. At Suncoast he was a student in the prestigious International Baccalaureate program.  In his community, he worked with the AIDS ministry at his church to administer free HIV tests and educate others about the disease.  He also volunteered with the Urban League's National Achievers Society and in the Dr. Mary McLeod Be-thune Elementary School af- ter school program.

In college, the Ron Brown and Gates scholar is continuing to follow a path of excellence making his hometown community, former high school and family proud. Now a freshman at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, Russell said he is thankful to his instructors at Suncoast High for giving him a strong foundation.

“The rigor involved in the courses I took while in high school allowed me to develop the study habits necessary to function in any academic environment. Although I still devote many hours to studying, I never feel as though the coursework is too difficult to manage. Through all of my efforts, I was recently invited to participate in the University Honors Program.”

Russell is majoring in Biochemistry and Human Rights, with a minor in Mathematics.  “I still find myself in awe of the amount of talent and intellect among the students of SMU,” said Tyrell. 

“One of my biggest personal goals is to remain grounded. As a student, I am given a great deal of freedom and must decide each day how I will use my freedom to my advantage.

“I am a member of the Association of Black Students, Open Minds (a foster child mentoring group), and Voices of Inspiration Gospel Choir.” Russell’s mother, Cheryl Moore, is a reading coach at Clifford O. Taylor/Kirklane Elementary.

“My family inspires me because they represent a group of people who make the best out of any situation,” said Tyrell. 

“My family strives to appreciate the little things in life and not take blessings for granted.”