Journey Washingtonhigh was raised in Navarre, FL. She attended Fort Walton Beach High School in Fort Walton Beach, FL. Her senior motto was, “Today I shall behave as if this is the day I will be remembered.” She does that every day by the way she interacts with other and goes about her day making grand strides and achievements. She is frequently called the “Renaissance Girl” at her high school. Mostly she is known for her kindness and gentleness with others.
Journey grew up loved and supported by a devoted mom who valued education and encouraged erudition through study and experiences. Journey’s aspirations were formed in a place where she could think the “what ifs,” experience failure, be upset, and come out on the other end with both knowledge and understanding that prepared her to try again and reach higher. Challenges were seen as obstacles to overcome, not a lifestyle.
Journey has taken college-level courses since ninth grade and has succeeded in earning her Associates Degree while earning her high school diploma with a 4.76 GPA. She is an AP Scholar and a Project Lead the Way Scholar in both Engineering and Biomedicine. Journey has earned the distinction of being handpicked as a Sunshine State Scholar. This is the highest award in STEM in the state of Florida. Her prowess in math was recognized by being chosen as one of only 20 students internationally to participate in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) MathROOTs program, where she scored a perfect score in the Math Olympiad. Every summer she has taken advantage of collegiate academic programs to further her career and college preparation.
Journey has a penchant for research. She was selected to participate in the International Pioneer Academics Research Program, where she wrote a college research-level paper on “Development of a Robotic Hand with Sensory Motor Capacities.” She is Captain and Lead Driver of her FIRST Tech Challenge Robotic Team and led them to win the Think and Connect Awards. As an Air Force Research Laboratory Scholar Intern with Secret Security Clearance, she designed a STEM Curriculum for grades K-5.
Journey is known for showing up in places least expected for African-American girls. She is a confident leader and works to create new pathways for others through her activities and engagement.
At age 16, Journey became part of a unique group of travelers, less than one percent of the world’s population, who have visited all seven continents. She has done this as part of her Global Impact Initiative in Volunteerism. In 2018 in Antarctica, she took part in a Citizen’s Science project, where she joined a scientific research team investigating “Microplastics in Antarctica.” This is an emerging area of research as scientists are exploring if pollution has transgressed the Antarctica Convergence into previously thought pristine regions of our planet. She has also traveled to the country of Madagascar in 2019, where she visited the Bara Tribe, a farming community, and participated in acts of kindness and service; visitors are rarely allowed. The elder of the family welcomed Journey and adopted her as part of their Malagazy family.
Journey is a Hugh O’Brian Youth (HOBY) Scholar, Okaloosa County Youth Ambassador, National Honor Society, School Advisory Council member, and selected to the Hall of Fame at her high school. She is a committed volunteer and continuously makes efforts to lead, support, and mentor. As the scripture says, “To whom much is given, much will be required.” Journey has dedicated many hours to the preservation of the environment and historical sites; promotion of health, welfare, and safety of the community; provision of leadership, guidance, and activities for the youth of her community.
Her love of music and art are expressed in her pursuit of being a cellist and sculpting ceramics. From humble beginnings of making pots and firing them in an earth kiln, Journey progressed to winning the NAACP ACT-SO Silver Medalist Award in Sculpture and also a Scholastic Art and Writing Award. Believing in a healthy active lifestyle, she is an AAU Junior Olympian and Captain of the Varsity Track and Field team and has held her school record for Pole Vaulting along with Rookie of the Year.
Journey plans to major in Engineering. As she continues her love of science, she plans to be engaged in those issues that affect human potential and societal growth while having the utmost respect for our humanity, environment, and relationships with each other.