As a second grader, JJ Messervy was told he would never graduate from high school. Today he is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of the University of South Carolina and the elected auditor for Dorchester County.
“The things I learned at Trident Academy have had a huge impact on my entire life.”
JJ attended Trident Academy in third, fourth and fifth grades, after he says the public school system told him they couldn’t provide the program he needed. He transitioned seamlessly to public middle school and graduated from Summerville High School. He recently earned his Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Charleston Southern University.
“The teachers at Trident Academy taught me how to understand my learning disability,” JJ explains. “They showed me how to work with it so I could look at every situation or challenge and determine a solution on my own. They called it being a self-advocate.”
After graduating from the University of South Carolina, JJ became a realtor for Carolina One Real Estate before being elected auditor in 2008. He’s earned dozens of accolades from being named one of Charleston’s Forty Under 40 and Charleston Animal Society Humanitarian of the Year in 2009 to being president of the Summerville Exchange Club and the Dorchester County SPCA.
“Most importantly, Trident Academy gave me the confidence to succeed. Too often, it is easier to not take on the hard task and use your disability as a crutch. Trident Academy, as well as my parents, did not allow me to do that. It’s the reason I’m where I am today.”
Advice to current Trident Academy students:
“Do not take this time for granted. Thank your parents for the opportunity to be at Trident Academy. Thank them for the sacrifices they’re making for your educational journey. Don’t let yourself take the easy road because you have a disability. Take the road less traveled. You will learn a great deal more and have better experiences.”