Academics, Local, Park Forest, Schools

ABC7’s Cheryl Burton to Southland College Prep Honor Students: “Follow Your Dreams.”

Cheryl Burton and Blondeen Davis
Cheryl Burton, ABC7 Chicago anchor, (l.) and Dr. Blondean Y. Davis, (r.) Southland College Prep’s CEO, relish a moment at the school’s annual CEO Luncheon honoring top scholars. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

Richton Park, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Cheryl Burton, news anchor of ABC7 Chicago, told Southland College Prep honor roll students to “follow your dreams.”

“When you dream about what you love and you’re passionate that almost guarantees success for you,” Burton said.

Burton was the speaker at the school’s annual CEO Honors Luncheon. Southland recognized 277 students who achieved a 3.5 GPA and higher at the luncheon January 14 at the Matteson Holiday Inn. Southland’s first-semester honor roll (students with a 3.0 GPA and higher) included 351 students, almost two-thirds of the school’s enrollment. There were 41 CEO Straight A Scholars; 133 CEO Scholars (4.0 or higher GPA); 103 High Honor roll students (3.5-3.99 GPA) and 74 Honor Roll students.

A winner of 13 Emmy Awards, Burton told students about her career as a broadcast journalist covering stories from the Olympic bombing in Atlanta to the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

Burton is in her 28th year at ABC 7 Chicago where she started in 1992. A graduate of Lindblom Technical High school and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she earned a B.S. degree in psychology and biology, Burton said that growing up she wanted to be a prima ballerina and a doctor.

“But I was blessed with a career of telling stories,” Burton explained.

Burton showed the students a purse she carries made out of a computer keyboard in honor of her parents. Her mother insisted that her five children learn how to type because when her parents lived in Wyoming when her father was stationed there in the U.S. Air Force in the 1950s, the only job her mother could get was a typing instructor in the Air Force. Although Burton’s mother had a master’s degree, she was told she could not teach because she was black.

“It’s no wonder that I make a living typing words. It’s the power of a parent believing in their children,” Burton said. “It’s a story rooted in a mother that had a desire to teach her children how to succeed in life and that your zip code will never determine your destiny. Your ZIP code and your color will never put limitations on your life, even though others will try to do so.”

She encouraged the students to “never let anyone put you in a box.”

“I expect nothing but greatness coming from each and every one of you in this room,” Burton said.

“Cheryl Burton is a fine inspiration for all of us,” Dr. Blondean Y. Davis, Southland College Prep’s CEO, said to the school’s top scholars.

This is news from Southland College Prep High School.