Timi Adekunle, 18-year-old Nigerian, has become the first black valedictorian at South Broward High School in Hollywood, Florida.
Adekunle graduated with a 5.604 GPA, the highest recorded GPA ever recorded in the history of the school.
The boy, who is the youngest of three siblings in his family, was surprised when he learnt of his ground-breaking achievement in the school.
“Coming from a low-income community, it means a lot in general because of the way I was brought up,” Adekunle said.
This is indeed a remarkable achievement for Adekunle given his family’s financial status and challenges they have been through.
Adekunle said it was something he really worked hard for considering his side hustles as a graphic designer, photographer to help his family pay the bills.
He had also served within several capacities in the school. He was once physics club president and a district representative for the school’s award-winning theater competition.
Speaking about his achievement, Adekunle said it is a mixed feeling for him because his father who was deported over a decade ago would not be celebrating his memorable moment with him.
Adekunle’s father came to the U.S in 1981 as a students and lived there for about 28 years before he was deported. The family is still struggling ensure his returns to the country.
“He’s missed out and it’s not his fault. It’s not any of our fault. He left when I was in the first grade. I miss his physical presence and involvement,” he added.
In June Adekunle would deliver a speech at South Broward High School’s virtual ceremony at which he would provide positive reinforcement for the class of 2020.
For his great academic achievement, several great universities such as Columbia University, the Juilliard School and the University of Southern California have accepted Adekunle to continue his academic journey.
Adekunle would be taking his university education at Pomona College, a private liberal arts college in Claremont, California that has offered him full scholarship with other benefits that perfectly fit into Adekunle’s dream of a college life.