A Wichita student overcomes obstacles to achieve success

  • Tyrell Burns Tyrell Burns, a graduate of South High School in Wichita, Kansas has proven that success is possible through hard work and determination regardless of the challenges.


    At a young age, Burns and his siblings were abandoned by their mother and left in the care of his father. One of his earliest childhood memories is sitting next to his father as he cried and told them their mother had died. The family lived in a Section 8 house for nearly 10 years and had their gas and electricity shut off multiple times, leaving them “heavy-hearted in the dark.” Sometimes there was little to eat but through it all,


    Burns’ father showed him how to be resourceful, determined and compassionate. Those traits would serve Burns well as he struggled to overcome perceptions others had because of his socio-economic status. Tyrell Burns


    Despite the challenges that could have derailed him, Burns graduated this year as one of South High School’s valedictorians with a perfect 4.0 GPA. He received two highly prestigious scholarships; was named a 2020 Rudd Scholar and a 2020 Koch Honors Scholar and plans to major in computer engineering at Wichita State University. 


    Reflecting back, Burns said "I now realize that challenges are what kept me from giving up hope, hope that I could chnage my life." Wichita Public Schools is #WPSProud of Tyrell Burns.