Star student Skylar Edwards sees future in clinical psychology

Published 10:05 am Tuesday, January 25, 2022

EDGARD — Seeing the burdens teens carry around each day has inspired West St. John junior Skylar Edwards to shine a spotlight on mental health.

After graduating from high school, she plans to pursue a doctoral degree in clinical psychology. Her dream is to reinvest in her community by opening a mental health clinic to service low-income families in the River Parishes.

Impacting the youth would be a primary focus of her career.

“I think that, in this community, a lot of people don’t believe in therapy. They don’t always think about teens’ mental health or wellbeing,” Edwards said. “With the mental health clinic, I really want to specialize in helping teens talk about their issues. I know therapy is pricey, so I want to help low-income families have access to that for their child.”

Edwards’ compassion for others is just one aspect of her role as a student leader at West St. John High School. Principal Claude Hill recently recognized Edwards as a “star student” along with freshman Jayla Ezidore and senior Je’Nya Ketchens, who will each be featured in upcoming editions of L’OBSERVATEUR.

Hill said all three young ladies are polite, respectful, outstanding students who take their education seriously and step up as leaders among their peers.

According to Hill, some words that can be used to describe Edwards are “creative, understanding and determined.”

Edwards is active on campus as a member of West St. John’s Beta Club, Robotics Club, Student Government, Explorers Club and DECA. She recently joined the Rams track team to challenge herself to broaden her horizons. She looks up to fellow star student Je’Nya Ketchens as a role model.

“I heard all about Je’Nya’s clubs and involvement. She does academics and athletics, and I kind of want to be like her,” Edwards said. “I haven’t done athletics before as an extracurricular. I’m kind of nervous about that, but I’m also looking forward to it. Some of my friends are in track. They say it’s fun, and I’m ready to open up that new pathway in my life.”

Another positive influence in her drive to succeed is her mother, Betsy Edwards.

“I would feel bad if I don’t make something of myself. My mom looks at me to do well in school, and I want to make her proud,” Edwards said.

There’s plenty to be proud of when looking at Edwards’ academic track record. She’s made all ‘A’s this school year despite the challenges of Hurricane Ida and the COVID-19 pandemic. She was named Student of the Year for her cohort in both fifth grade and eighth grade, and she’ll surely be a strong contender for the recognition as a 12th grader.

Freshman Jayla Ezidore said Edwards is someone whose name always comes up during school functions, and even the younger students know her well.
“When we have school events like spirit week or pep rallies, she is always involved,” Ezidore said.

While serving as a voice for her peers, Edwards has been assigned a task to modernize West St. John’s library and make it a more comfortable space for students.

She is working closely with a classmate to order new furniture for the library, which will include cell phone charging stations, bean bag chairs, conference tables, new shelving, an updated book selection, a technology board, and a 3D printer to assist with STEM education.

“I think it’s going to boost morale,” Edwards said. “We are going to be excited to have something new. The library won’t look as old as it once did, and it will make people happier to be able to relax in a place at school that was made for them.”

When she’s not assisting with the school library, Skylar also volunteers virtually with the St. John the Baptist Parish Public Library System by generating pamphlets, power points and book reviews for the public.

L’OBSERVATEUR’s “Looks Bright” series highlights achievements of youth in the River Parishes. To submit a student for a Looks Bright spotlight, please email brooke.robichaux@lobservateur.com.