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A dedicated scholar’s good deeds are being rewarded. Congrats are in order for another headline-making valedictorian, this time from Mount Vernon, New York. Ashanti Palmer has been named valedictorian of Nellie A. Thornton High School and the Performing & Visual Arts Magnet Program.

Not only is she her class valedictorian, but she has also achieved perfect attendance her entire education career, reports ABC 13. The teen has never missed a day of school from Pre-K all the way through high school.

She now plans to study biomedical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and has been awarded more than $430,000 in scholarships.

“Being named valedictorian feels good because it shows that all the hard work I’ve put in over the years has paid off, and that effort is being celebrated in a big way,” said Palmer during her virtual graduation speech amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “In terms of my perfect attendance, it wasn’t something that I sought out. I knew that showing up to school every day was important, because even missing one day can set you back. It wasn’t until 10th grade that I realized I hadn’t missed a day, and then I wanted to keep up the streak.”

She has plans to follow RPI’s pre-med track with a plan to pursue an M.D. from Albany Medical College or an Ivy League Medical School.

News about Ashanti Palmer comes after Florida teen Martin Folsom became his school’s valedictorian despite being homeless numerous times and after Nicholas Johnson was named Princeton’s first Black valedictorian in school’s 274-year history.

Congrats to all these black magic makers!


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