A 16 year old Nigerian student, named Tobechukwu Tobi Philips, has again raised the flag of Nigeria high in the International scene, when she broke a 125 year old barrier to become the first Black Valedictorian in Alvin High School, Texas, US.
The young trailblazer earned herself a 6.9 GPA on a 4.0 scale and earned A’s in all the Advanced Placement (AP) program courses she took during her four years in the school. This placed her at the top of her class.
The school located in Texas, USA, was first established in 1894 and integrated with African-American students in 1965. Among the approximately 2,800 students of the school, only 86 are black students.
Achieving this feat was not an easy task for young Tobechukwu, but against all odds, she braced up to the challenges and made her efforts count.
Speaking to Because of Them We Can, Tobechukwu said, “Maintaining the highest GPA in my class is 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.”
As a deserving reward for such outstanding performance, the young genius received the Full-Ride Forty Acre Scholarship to attend the Nursing School at University of Texas later in the year. She plans to own her own clinic as a pediatric nurse practitioner one day.
Aside being academically brilliant, Tobechukwu Phillips is also a decorated volleyball and track athlete. She is a Sunday school teacher, a member of the Rho Kappa Honor Society, the president of the National Honor Society and an AP ambassador.
Tobechukwu had this to say to other young people, “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.