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Looks Bright: ESJH sisters Kourageous Joseph & Keyante Jones excel with hard work

RESERVE — As graduation swiftly approaches, Kourageous Joseph is most proud of the legacy she’s left on the superintendent’s council as a voice for present and future East St. John High School students.

Through dialogue with Superintendent Kevin George, Kourageous and other appointed East St. John student representatives organized a celebratory crawfish boil for seniors and discussed school policies concerning the student body.

While Kourageous is more outspoken than her younger sister, junior Keyante Jones, teachers know them as equally intelligent and exceptional students.

Keyante is the quiet sister, open-minded and drawn to art. She always keeps a pencil and paper nearby to work on her drawings of nostalgic cartoon characters, whether it’s Tommy from The Rugrats, Goku from Dragon Ball Z or Mickey Mouse.

Algebra teacher Keanna Theriot said Kourageous and Keyante seldom ask questions in class because they prefer to tackle challenges on their own.

“With Kourageous, her drive is what stands out,” Theriot said. “If she didn’t get something, she wasn’t going to ask me. She was going to keep going and get it herself. She and her little sister are complete opposites. Keyante is so, so quiet. Kourageous will tell you how she feels, but their smarts together are phenomenal.”

Kourageous Joseph displays some of the cheerleading trophies she helped win while attending East St. John High. The graduating senior is heading to Xavier University.

Keyante might not enjoy being in front of a crowd, but Theriot said it has never stopped her from achieving her goals.

“She goes above and beyond and tries very, very hard,” Theriot said. “She’s maintained a 3.5 to a 4.0 GPA her whole life.”

Hardworking and humble, the sisters are model students in any class, according to Theriot.

Keyante excels in language arts and has been a member of National English Honor Society for two years, but her favorite subject is math.

“With math, I get it like that,” Keyante said with a snap.

Keyante, who participated in East St. John’s Beta Club, is eyeing a collegiate future at Xavier University or Louisiana State University.

“With math, I get it like that,” Keyante Jones said with a snap when recently talking with a reporter.

In the future, Keyante hopes to become a veterinarian. She has longstanding compassion for animals and a Chihuahua-Dachshund mix dog that she adores.

Kourageous is headed to Xavier University in the fall to study pharmacy, already equipped with college credit from dual enrollment courses. She’s graduating from high school this month with a 4.0 GPA that extends back to her elementary years and platinum distinction on an ACT WorkKeys skills assessment test.

She was one of four East St. John students to earn the platinum distinction this year.

Health career courses offered at school led Kourageous toward a future in pharmacy.

“It actually wasn’t my first choice,” Kourageous said. “At first I wanted to go to LSU to become a nurse. We have a nursing class and a pharmacy tech class, and one of my teachers last year introduced me to Xavier.”

Kourageous is interested in pharmacy because of the precision that goes into it, coupled with her ability to help others by providing medicine fit for their needs.

At East St. John High, Kourageous also participated in Beta Club, National English Honor Society and cheerleading.

However, superintendent’s council was her favorite.

When a Louisiana themed wall mural students designed to make the school more vibrant was unexpectedly painted over white, council members voiced a right to expression. They also discussed prom locations and allowing students to decorate graduation caps.

“We talked with (George) about what we wanted to change with the school, whether it’s for this year or next year for the upcoming seniors,” Kourageous said. “We could really change the school for the better.”