A Nigerian teenager, Tobechukwu “Tobi” Phillips, based in Texas, has broken 125 years as she will be the first Black student to graduate top of the class in Alvin High School’s history, which was founded in 1894 and desegregated in 1965.
Philips will make history as the first Black valedictorian at her high school.
She was awarded this honour after earning 6.9 grade point average. The Alvin High School senior only took AP courses to go along with her electives.
She will attend the University of Texas on a full-ride thanks to the Forty Acre Scholarship; as she 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,”
Phillips is one of only 86 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.
“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.”
Phillips will study nursing in college and aspires to be a paediatric nurse practitioner with her own clinic.
Curled from blavity.com