May
26, 2017

Jackie
Ormes was the first African-American female cartoonist in the United States. Her
comic strips were syndicated in black newspapers in the 1930s and ’40s, making
her the only nationally syndicated black woman cartoonist until the 1990s. 

 

Anissa
Davis, the 2017 salutatorian at John Marshall Community High School, wants to
follow in Ormes’ footsteps.Anissa

 

Equipped
with a passion for drawing and photography, Anissa has big plans. “After I
leave college, I plan to open an art gallery and work in animation, where I can
create most of the characters.”

 

She
will continue to hone her artistic skills as an art major at Indiana State University
this fall. It’s the next journey in her life, one that Anissa is looking
forward to.

 

Being
in a new environment, surrounded by like-minded people, will be a change for Anissa,
who admits that high school was challenging at times.

 

“People not
believing in (my) abilities was extremely difficult. When people around you
lose faith in you, you start to lose confidence in yourself,” she said. “It’s a
horrible feeling when you have no one rooting for you.”

 

When Anissa needed that extra push
to get through those tough times, she turned to her mother and her favorite
teacher for guidance. 

 

“My mom and my favorite teacher Mrs.
Benson helped me the most with my success in high school. They both believed in
me and pushed me to do incredible things. I am extremely grateful,” said
Anissa.

 

One of her accomplishments, which
she credits to her support team, includes becoming one of the top two students
in her graduating class. She is graduating
with a 3.5
GPA.

 

“As the salutatorian for my school,
I do feel a sense of responsibility from my closest friends and my family,”
said Anissa. “My friends look up to me, and my family is very proud of me, because
I am the first child to be within the top two of my class.”

 

Following graduation, Anissa plans take
it easy before heading off to Terre Haute, Ind. She will spend her spare time
drawing, of course, and spending time with friends.