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Philadelphia Native Excels Near Nation’s Capital

Central High School graduate Janaa Pickard kicked off a great collegiate basketball season this year near the nation's capital.  Courtesy www.gmu.edu.
Central High School graduate Janaa Pickard kicked off a great collegiate basketball season this year near the nation's capital. Courtesy www.gmu.edu.

For Philadelphia native Janaa N. Pickard, it’s a numbers game on and off the court at George Mason University near Washington, D.C. as she excels academically and athletically.

Pickard attended historic Central High School, the second-oldest, continuously open, public high school in the country. Central High was founded in 1836 in the Logan section of Philadelphia. Pickard was a member of the 268th graduating class.

As a star on Central's girls' basketball team, Pickard says she was recruited by universities and colleges across the country.Pickard joined Mason's women's basketball team as a forward when she was a freshman in 2009. This season, she scored a career-high of 25 points in one game; 21 rebounds in another.

Pickard’s game plan is all about teamwork – personal and collegiate. "The camaraderie means a great deal to me," she emphasizes. "We all spend so much time together throughout the entire year that we get to truly know and love each other. We build lifelong relationships and get to see each other grow and develop as people and as basketball players. It is truly a tremendous experience."

Pickard is giving back. She participates in breast cancer awareness through her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta. She also volunteers for the annual Aimee Willard Fun Run/Walk against Violence. Pickard, a former Girl Scout Brownie herself, also volunteers for the Girls Scouts of America. “I feel that it is extremely important to work with and mentor younger kids in order to have a positive impact, and to hopefully help shape their lives. Kids are the future, and I always want to be a part of shaping the future.”

Pickard hopes to become a certified public accountant. She earned a bachelor's degree in marketing last year, but decided to go the extra mile, or few, and work on a second bachelor's degree in accounting. “I find it interesting to study what makes people purchase, and how to create the perfect product for a specific market. The field of accounting intrigues me, as I like to learn how people and companies utilize money and make financial decisions, and how they can do so, in a better way. It is also interesting to study individual transactions and their effects. Helping with these decisions is fun and so is dealing with money.”

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