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Palm Coast Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016 2 years ago

Researching a story for the Flagler Schools Observer leads to a spot in history for FPC student Kedron Abbott

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Flagler School Board spotlight is on 17-year-old senior who wrote the proclamation for Shirley Chisholm Day in Palm Coast.
by: Jacque Estes Community Editor

When Kedron Abbot was born 17 years ago in Towson, Maryland, Shirley Chisholm had already retired to Palm Coast. His family moved to Palm Coast when he was 6-years-old, Chisholm died on Jan. 1, 2005. On Nov. 30, 2015 (Chisholm’s birthday), the city of Palm Coast declared the day “Shirley Chisholm Day,” after Kedron, an intern at Office Divvy, wrote the proclamation.

“You don't make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas.” Shirley Chisholm

Kedron’s first visit to Office Divvy, just across the street from FPC, was one as a reporter for the Flagler School Observer, a student group at the i3 Tech Academy who work closely with the Palm Coast Observer.

“I was writing for the Flagler Schools Observer and I was running out of stories. I talked to a friend who said Office Divvy had internships available for students, and that might be a good way to let students know,” he said. “I wasn’t planning on having an internship. I wanted to get the story and get out.”

It wasn’t long before he decided an internship was what he wanted.

“There are two companies, Natural Nubian and Office Divvy. I interned with Office Divvy,” he said. 

His first job was to write a proclamation for Shirley Chisholm Day.

“At first I didn’t really know who Shirley Chisholm really was, or what she had done,” he said. “I knew the name, but I didn’t know she had retired to Palm Coast, and it was even more amazing to me that someone like that retired here.”

The writing process required Kedron not only to research Chisholm, but also other proclamations to get an idea of form and substance. He worked with two Daytona State students, Monica Lao, the project manager, and Trenton Moore who built the shirleychisholm.life website.

It was Kedron’s turn to be in the spotlight at the Flagler School Board meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 5. FPC Principal Dusty Sims brought Kedron up to the podium to be introduced to the Board.

“It takes a lot of courage, especially as a 17-year-old, to approach the city and say, ‘we need this,’” Sims said. Kedron spent three years at the i3 Academy, where he learned about project based learning, interacted with the community and soft skills. We think about adults always being in community engagement, but to see our students, not just Kedron, but students throughout our district, meeting with the community, creating proclamations, and getting involved in business is a great representation of what we do in Flagler County Schools.”

Kedron ‘s responsibilities at Office Divvy are expanding past the initial internship to a part-time job, and the task of recruiting and interviewing students to enter the internship program.  After graduation he will continue onto college to study computer science.

Where he will go depends on scholarship packages available at the schools. He has been accepted to Stetson University, Flagler Institute of Technology and Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He has applied to the University of Alabama, where he was able to attend two, one-week summer camps in robotics and android design, and Java programming.

When asked where he would like to be this time next year Philadelphia was his first choice, though he said he would be happy at Alabama.

“If financial issues weren’t an issue I would love to go to Drexel,” he said. “When I toured there it was amazing. It was someplace I could see myself in, but realistically, the University of Alabama has more scholarships available.”

Kedron said whatever the future holds, his involvement with the Shirley Chisholm Day project would be one that would stay with him throughout his life.

“It’s so amazing for me to have been a part of history like this,” he said.

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