Brookhaven High queen still reigns supreme at USM
Before Imani Quinn was stretching strength bands, she was toting a tuba, shaking her pom poms and wearing a crown — three of them, in fact.
The busy 19-year-old Brookhaven native is studying kinesiotherapy during her sophomore year at University of Southern Miss. And although her studies were just as important at Brookhaven High School as they are now, she found time for plenty of extracurricular activities.
The daughter of Audrey Washington and Kelvin Quinn was named homecoming queen, prom queen and Miss BHS during her senior year.
“I guess my class thought I would want to run for homecoming queen since I was always on the homecoming court. I never really campaigned for any of the titles,” she said.
Quinn has always put her best foot forward which is a value she inherited from her parents, she said. They taught her and her siblings Sha Bridges, Vanessa Quinn, Sevante Quinn and Kelvin Quinn Jr. perseverance and to always make the best out of any situation.
During high school, Quinn became a member of the BHS marching band as a tuba player while she was also on the cheerleader squad.
During her sophomore year, she decided to take it a step further and became tuba section leader. If that was not enough, she started back cheering her junior and senior years while she was the BHS drum major.
“Every game, I was running back and forth to do both activities,” she said.
She worked a part-time job during her last two years of high school as well.
Academics were not put on the back burn either. Quinn was a member of Brookhaven’s National Honor Society and Mississippi Scholars. She graduated at the top of her high school class with a 3.8 GPA while receiving an academic scholarship to USM.
“I did all of my homework during my practices and work breaks,” she said. “Whatever I could not finish then, I’d do at home after I got off work”.
The continuous cycle of school, band, cheerleading, drum majoring and work never bothered Quinn because she enjoyed staying active.
Those years of leadership also earned her a Phi Mu Omega scholarship from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. her senior year. “My mentor, Betty Wilson-McSwain, told me to apply for the scholarship. She has been my mentor for about three years now. Her willingness to help and serve others really inspires me,” she said.
Quinn is set to graduate in 2019, but she may wait just to take extra classes for physical therapy school. “Physical therapy is an occupation where you help other people,” she said. “I know I can use that as a stage to help other people in many different ways.”
The journey is nowhere near over for the BHS alumna. She wants to inspire others while achieving all of her goals.
“I want to use everything I accomplish now to build someone else up later,” she said.