Stockbridge woman headed to South Africa to teach

STOCKBRIDGE — Zyer Beaty has a lot to smile about these days. The Spelman College student from Stockbridge was granted an internship to Oprah Winfrey’s Leadership Academy in South Africa.

“I’m so grateful for this opportunity because God is showing me things that I would have never imagined,” Beaty said.

Beaty, along with other students from Spelman, will leave today and stay in South Africa for six months.

A psychology major with a Child Development minor, Beaty said it was only right for her to apply to be a part of Oprah Winfrey's Leadership Academy.

Beaty was selected from a competitive pool of people and recalled the application process being vigorous. It consisted of eight essays, two recommendation letters and a nomination from a teacher or administrator. She said she had an interview with the president of Spelman College, Beverly Tatum, and was granted the opportunity along with one other Spelman students.

While studying at Spelman, Beaty also has been an intern at United Way of Greater Atlanta. She said that experience allowed her to understand the impact that nonprofit organizations, civic and community engagement and public policy have made in the lives of many children.

“I know this will be a mission for me to be the light for the girls at the academy and I plan to take full advantage of each day,” Beaty said.

Beaty graduated in 2010 from Therrell High School in Atlanta as the valedictorian of health science and research. There she maintained a 3.9 grade-point average. She became a Bill Gates Scholar and was able to participate in various extracurricular and community service activities. She was awarded the Gates Millennium Scholarship and said she will use it to her full advantage.