Teen recognized for perfect attendance from kindergarten through high school


A Virginia  teen has been able to achieve an incredible feat very few students can achieve; now her high school is recognizing her for it.

Midlothian High School has recognized Essence Mitchell, a senior at the school, for perfect attendance throughout her entire academic career.

That’s right; Essence has never missed a day of school since Kindergarten.


Essence’s  mom, Tawanna Mitchell said she recently realized the impressive feat while talking with one of Essence’s teachers about a college recommendation letter.

“That’s when it clicked; she’s never missed a day of school,” Mitchell said.

She said she used to keep track of her attendance in elementary school, but lost sight of it through middle and high school. “It just happened that way,” she said.

“Her dad and I encouraged her to be all that she can be in all her endeavors,” Mitchell said.

“I think I’m most proud of Essence because she not just willing to just do great things for herself, but she wants to do well and give back to others,” Mitchell said.

The 17-year-old’s community service includes feeding the homeless with a local church and donating her clothes to less fortunate children.

In school, Essence was inducted into the National Society of High School Scholars in August for overall academic achievement. She is the Vice President of the Hand and Hand club, which mentors kids at Evergreen Elementary. She is also in the Service Learning program and assists teachers and students in the classroom at J.B. Watkins Elementary School.

“I’m truly blessed because I know that essence, despite all of life’s challenges, she’s persevered,” said Mitchell. “Coming from the inner city in New York, she’s definitely beat the odds.”

Mitchell said Essence has an interest in forensic psychology and practical law and is still looking at colleges.

In addition to her outstanding academic performance,  Essence has also been dancing since she was two and is also a professional dancer with the Encore Performing Arts Dance Studio.

With all this on her plate, Mitchell said Essence’s perfect attendance record wasn’t easy.

Essence has battled through the usual colds, but she’s also broken her leg/ankle on three separate occasions with dance, gymnastics, and while skating.

“What’s most admirable is despite surgery; the use of crutches and a wheelchair, Essence went to school every day,” said Mitchell.

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