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Setting up for success

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By Erin Hill

A local teen is headed to Edward Waters College on a volleyball scholarship.  
Emoni Bittle, who lives in the Scottstown community, is the first person in Gadsden County to receive a volleyball scholarship in 25 years.
Bittle said she’s been playing volleyball since the sixth grade.  The Godby High School graduate said she knew she wanted to attend an Historically Black College or University (HBCU) so she called Edward Waters about two months before going to tryouts.
“I went down there twice,” Bittle said.  “I felt really comfortable there, and I fit in.”
Bittles said it’s a partial volleyball scholarship, but she also received an academic scholarship to help cover costs.
Emoni’s mother, Lekeyta Carson, said she is so proud of her daughter because she knows how hard she worked for this.  The mother of two said Emoni’s older brother, Johnathan Vickers, goes to Florida State University on a football scholarship.
“Growing up in a single parent home, statistics say they’re not going, they’re not going to be able to do it,” Carson said.
She said she not only pushed them in sports, but academics as well.  Carson said she gives God the glory, and she is also thankful for her family, which has been very supportive.
In fact, Carson said her sister, Shawana Moore, is the one who pushed Emoni to play volleyball six years ago.
Being a product of Gadsden County, Carson said she really wanted Emoni to graduate from East Gadsden High School, but she didn’t feel like the sport is taken seriously there.
“There is money out there for these girls,” Collins said.  “Until we get someone to look at it and take it serious, our girls are going to be left behind.”
Emoni said she feels blessed to have received the scholarship.  She wants to study business, and she looks forward to live the college life.  She is also ready to start practicing with her new teammates.
 “Hopefully I’ll inspire some other girl out there in Gadsden County,” Bittles said.  “Anybody can do it.  It just takes a lot of hard work, and you can go anywhere you want to go.”

A local teen is headed to Edward Waters College on a volleyball scholarship.  
Emoni Bittle, who lives in the Scottstown community, is the first person in Gadsden County to receive a volleyball scholarship in 25 years.
Bittle said she’s been playing volleyball since the sixth grade.  The Godby High School graduate said she knew she wanted to attend an Historically Black College or University (HBCU) so she called Edward Waters about two months before going to tryouts.
“I went down there twice,” Bittle said.  “I felt really comfortable there, and I fit in.”
Bittles said it’s a partial volleyball scholarship, but she also received an academic scholarship to help cover costs.
Emoni’s mother, Lekeyta Carson, said she is so proud of her daughter because she knows how hard she worked for this.  The mother of two said Emoni’s older brother, Johnathan Vickers, goes to Florida State University on a football scholarship.
“Growing up in a single parent home, statistics say they’re not going, they’re not going to be able to do it,” Carson said.
She said she not only pushed them in sports, but academics as well.  Carson said she gives God the glory, and she is also thankful for her family, which has been very supportive.
In fact, Carson said her sister, Shawana Moore, is the one who pushed Emoni to play volleyball six years ago.
Being a product of Gadsden County, Carson said she really wanted Emoni to graduate from East Gadsden High School, but she didn’t feel like the sport is taken seriously there.
“There is money out there for these girls,” Collins said.  “Until we get someone to look at it and take it serious, our girls are going to be left behind.”
Emoni said she feels blessed to have received the scholarship.  She wants to study business, and she looks forward to live the college life.  She is also ready to start practicing with her new teammates.
 “Hopefully I’ll inspire some other girl out there in Gadsden County,” Bittles said.  “Anybody can do it.  It just takes a lot of hard work, and you can go anywhere you want to go.”