A Nigerian teenager, Timi Adelakun, has made history by becoming valedictorian at the South Broward High School in Hollywood, Florida. Adelakun is the first black student to receive the academic honor at the school, according to ABC news.
Adelakun, 18, achieved this sterling acknowledgment after recording the highest GPA ever recorded in the history of the school. He recorded a 5.604 GPA.
“Coming from a low-income community, it means a lot in general because of the way I was brought up,” Adelakun told ABC News.
Adelakun’s parents are from Nigeria. His father had been deported from the United States over a decade earlier after living in the country for roughly 28 years when he traveled from Nigeria as a student in 1981.
“He left when I was in the first grade. … I miss his physical presence and involvement,” Adelakun recalled.
The youngest of three children, neither Adelakun’s parents attended college and the family has been working assiduously to have his father return to the United States.
The history-making feat didn’t come easy to Adelakun. Growing up and being fend for by a single parent, he has had to work side jobs to help fund his education. He worked in jobs such as graphic design and photography. Adelakun wouldn’t have been celebrating this feat with hard work.
Adelakun will deliver a speech during South Broward High School’s virtual ceremony in June, ABC News reports with plans to provide “some positive reinforcement” for the class of 2020 in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Adelakun said he will be attending Pomona College, a private liberal arts college in Claremont, California. The College, he said, offered him a full scholarship and also checks all the boxes he’s looking for in an overall college experience, despite being accepted to nearly a dozen colleges, including Columbia University, the Juilliard School, and the University of Southern California.
Adelakun is not the only one celebrating,finishing high school on top. A graduating senior at Apex Friendship High School in North Carolina, Ive Jones was accepted into 45 colleges across the United States.
Jones also received more than $4 million in scholarships for her incredible feat WTVD reports. “I actually applied to about 50 (colleges),” she was quoted as saying. “I love to do things in overkill.”