Nigerian girl becomes 1st black valedictorian in Texas school
A Nigerian student in Texas, Tobechukwu “Tobi” Phillips, has become the first Black valedictorian in Alvin High School’s 125-year history.
The 15-year-old was awarded this honour after earning 6.9 cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale, placing her at the top of her class. The Alvin High School senior only took AP courses to go along with her electives.
The school was founded in 1894 and desegregated in 1965.
Due to her excellent performance, the Nigerian genius received the Full-Ride Forty Acre Scholarship to attend the University of Texas at Austin. It is the most prestigious scholarship offered by the school. In fact, out of 4,000 students, only 16 were chosen.
Phillips was one of 16 children chosen out of 4,000 applicants
“Maintaining the highest GPA in my class is a difficult task,” Phillips told Because of Them We Can.
“It truly takes time management but more importantly acknowledging what you do it for. I know that I am no longer just representing myself,”
Out of a school with approximately 2,800 students, Phillips is one of only 86 black students at her school and encourages other Black students in similar situations to stay true to themselves.
“My biggest advice to other scholars of colour 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,” she said.
It was not all a bed of roses for Tobi Philips. For one, she had to deal with a number of challenges and jeers from her peers. But, she managed to brace all these odds and achieve her goal.
Apart from being an A-student academically, Tobechukwu Phillips is also a decorated volleyball and track athlete. She is a Sunday school teacher, a member of the Rho Kappa Honour Society, the president of the National Honour Society and an AP ambassador.
(Culled from blavity.com)