Teen Becomes First Black Valedictorian in Her School’s 152-Year History

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A seventeen-year-old has become the first Black valedictorian in her high school’s 152-year history.

But it hasn’t come without hard work…

Onovu Otitigbe-Dangerfield has made history at her school.

By becoming the first Black valedictorian in her high school’s 152-year history.

And people are loving it…

Onovu Otitigbe-Dangerfield will be graduating from her New York high school in June with a 4.0 GPA.

A grade point average that she’s worked very hard to get…

In school, Onovu is the president of multiple school clubs, the co-captain of the soccer team and co-editor in chief of her schools digital newspaper, Good Morning America reports.

She’s also part of the Tri-M Music Honor Society.

And outside of school, the list continues…

Onovu is involved in the Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP), a research volunteer at the Myelin lab at Albany Medical Center and a volunteer for Bible-based education outreach.
All while working part-time in a nursing home.

Speaking of her daughters achievement, Onovu’s mom, Jessica Otitigbe, told GMA: “As a parent, I’m in awe of her curiosity, her respect, her empathy, her humility and her work ethic.”

“Albany High is the same high school I went to so to know that this is part of history … it’s beyond amazing. We’re just proud. We’re in college decision mode.”

So, what are Onovu’s plans for the future?

Well, she has applied to more than 20 colleges in total, and has been accepted into many of them…

Including Harvard, Yale, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, Boston University, Northeastern, Georgia Tech, Johns Hopkins and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

And although she’s currently still exploring her options, she would like a career specializing in robot-assisted procedures in pediatric neurosurgery.

Speaking of her achievement, Onovu told GMA: “It’s overwhelming and really surreal to me, especially hearing from Black girls from other schools that it inspired and motivated them, reaching out to me [saying] ‘it was so nice to see one of us in there.'”

“It’s not really a win for just me, it’s a win for my community. I feel a responsibility now. I’m not only representing myself. I’m representing a group of people.”
“I’m really honored to be in this position, but I certainly hope that I am not the last.”

Offering advice for fellow students, Onovu encouraged others to join clubs or groups they’re passionate about.

She also said to “create the future you envision for yourself.”

Congratulations, Onovu!

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