University Academy senior on the rise excels through multiple forms of expression

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- She's a rising high school senior at University Academy, and this week's Reaching 4 Excellence young achiever is an honors student and an artist in several forms. Her writing on race relations was recently recognized by Princeton University, and her work is published in many forms.

"I was one of the students who stuck to myself. I was always in a corner with my sketch book and my pen and I would not talk to anybody," TateAnna Gravely-Moss said.

Growing up, TateAnna says she kept to herself. She always wanted to have a voice, but instead, expressed herself though art.

"I used the silhouette of a woman and made the island a picture of her face, and her hair flows down into a waterfall," she displayed.

Two murals at 19th and Grand, and 23rd and Grand are her artistry.  She won the "Organization of American States" cultural arts competition by capturing the beauty of Dominica and Cuba.

"I love art. Art is where my passion is. I believe I was born an artist," she said.

But that's not all. TateAnna knew deep down that she wanted to be expressive and well-rounded, so she went to work. She served on student council as the vice president, hosted "Generation Rap" segments on Hot 103 Jamz which are focused on teen issues, she rose to the top 10-percent of her class in academics, and most recently won "The Princeton Prize" in race relations for her report on social injustice -- the only junior in Kansas City to win.

"It makes me feel amazing. It's liking climbing to the top of a mountain after a really long hike and just standing at the top saying I made it!" she exclaimed.

TateAnna was also just named a 2017 Questbridge Scholar.

"I was like, 'oh my gosh.' started screaming, crying," she said.

As part of the program, she will be matched with one of 39 universities in the country.

"Looking at myself and where I was to where I am now, it's a great accomplishment because I never thought I would be here. It puts me to tears to realize how many people I have that are there to support me," she said.