A Nigerian teenager, Tobechukwu Phillips, has made history as the first African-American valedictorian in Alvin High School’s 125 years history.
The Nigerian achieved this sterling recognition after placing top of her class, earning a staggering 6.9 cumulative GPA on a 4.0n scale.
Established in 1894, Alvin High School located in the city of Alvin, Texas integrated with African-American students in 1965.
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There are currently 86 African-American students in the school out of approximately 2,800 students.
Philips who took only AP courses aside her electives bagged As in every one of them throughout her four years program.
She is also a decorated volleyball and track athlete, as well as, a Sunday school teacher, a member of the Rho Kappa Honor Society, president of the National Honor Society and an AP ambassador.
Commenting on her feat, Phillips admitted maintaining the highest GPA in her class was a “difficult task.”
“It truly takes time management but more importantly acknowledging what you do it for. I know that I am no longer just representing myself,” she said.
Phillips’ amazing academic performance would earn her the Full-Ride Forty Acre Scholarship to attend the University of Texas at Austin. Out of 4,000 students, only 16 were chosen.
“My biggest advice to other scholars of color is to truly adopt the mindset of Rosa Parks — ‘No.’ Do not conform to the stereotypes that have held us under thumbs for so long.
“Do not be discouraged when someone speaks out against you, simply allow what they say to fuel your fire. But more than anything, do not remain tight-lipped. Stand up for what you believe in and take it upon yourself to be the change you’ve always wanted. Say ‘No’ to the ways of the world and stick out,” Philips advised.
“She is an excellent student from a loving family,” track coach Jennipher McGraw said of Phillips, who’ll be attending Nursing School at UT in the fall. She plans to one day own her clinic as a pediatric nurse practitioner.