Thompson High School
Jacori Gaddis is a junior at Thompson High School in Alabaster, Alabama. The youngest of six children, Jacori is described as a “smart, respectful and caring young man.” He has a GPA of 3.8 unweighted and 4.0 weighted and has been inducted into the National Honor Society, Sociedad Honoraria Hispanics (Spanish Honor Society), Rho Kappa (History Honor Society), and Mu Alpha Theta (National Math Honor Society.) He played football for most of his years in school but has opted not to participate in sports during his senior year in order to focus on academics.
Jacori is known throughout his community for his generous spirit and willingness to help. For example, he mows his elderly neighbors’ yards for free. He volunteers at his church, doing such tasks as moving equipment and taking out the trash. He picks up his classmates who need rides home. Jacori also runs errands for his grandparents and moves their trash cans to the curb on pickup days.
Jacori was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome (TS) at the young age of 4. Tourette Syndrome is a condition of the nervous system which causes people to have “tics” – sudden twitches, movements or sounds that the people do repeatedly. People with ticks cannot stop their body from doing these things. In Jacori’s case, TS caused him to move his head and legs involuntarily and to make sounds. It was hard for a few teachers to understand and seemed funny to some of his classmates. Jacori learned to laugh along with his classmates as he dealt with the uncontrollable condition. As he has matured, the motor tics no longer exist.
When he was 10 years old, Jacori’s dad was diagnosed with renal failure and placed on dialysis. Through this ordeal, Jacori remained positive and prayed for his dad to receive a kidney. He stepped up and did more work to keep the household running and to make life better for his dad while he was on dialysis. The condition prevented Mr. Gaddis from attending many of Jacori’s games and school activities, but the young man understood and never complained. Two years ago, Mr. Gaddis finally received a kidney. During this trying time, Jacori’s mother said that he stepped up and served as “the man of the house.”
A historian, Jacori is loved and respected by his teachers and his classmates. He plans to take dual enrollment classes during his senior year in preparation for college. “We couldn’t be prouder of him,” Patrice Gaddis, Jacori’s mother, wrote.
Jacori is obviously a shining light in his studies, with his family, and in his community. While maintaining his grades, he stands ready to assist those in need at any time. For his commitment to academics, family and community service, Alabama Public Television proudly recognizes Jacori Gaddis as one of the five Young Heroes of Alabama for 2023.
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