WAFF 48 Star Student: Travion Ragland

Travion Ragland is the WAFF 48 Star Student.
Travion Ragland is the WAFF 48 Star Student.

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Travion Ragland's day isn't over when the bell rings and school is out. Four days of the week, he heads straight to a roller staking rink where he works part time.

His extra-curricular activities don't stop there. Travion also serves many hours of community service as an Eagle Scout and president of the Key Club.

But none of this could have been possible if it were not for his time living in public housing.

"Being a former public housing resident, there were always stereotypes against us that we would never make it through high school," Travion said.

The Lee-New Century High senior was determined to prove everyone wrong.

Travion and his family moved to the Searcy Homes in Huntsville when he was in the fifth grade and lived there until he was a freshman in high school. He was eventually offered an internship with the Huntsville Housing Authority. The opportunity introduced him to mentors who taught him the first lessons of leadership.

"If it wasn't for the housing authority, I don't think I could have all the success that I have today," he said.

That success is apparent in Travion's dedication to community service.

Every year, Travion prides himself in organizing the Stuff the Bus campaign that donates items for those in need during the holidays.

Travion also sings for the school choir and never fails to impress his teachers.

"He's a very good singer. He's got an incredible voice," said Lee High choral director Barry Petty.

Petty said Travion has always been a leader.

"He's just very enthusiastic. He's always there to support his peers and the group as a whole," Petty said.

One of Travion's proudest moments was receiving a national centennial silver dollar for scouting from former Huntsville mayor Loretta Spencer.

But the WAFF 48 Star Student wasn't the only thing Travion was nominated for.

"Last year I got a letter in the mail. Someone nominated me to participate in the People to People Student Ambassador program," Travion said.

The experience gave him a glimpse of the world. He traveled to Greece and Europe to build global awareness. He said he did not want to burden his parents with the cost of the trip, so sponsors helped cover it.

"I was actually one of the first people to raise the full amount of money, and I got to go experience France, Italy and Greece," Travion said.

It was a long way from his humble beginnings in public housing.

"My scout master always said the best revenge is successful living. And that's kind of been my motto growing up," he said.

Travion said he's like to study psychology in college then eventually become a juvenile probation officer and continue serving the community.

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