MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. — A high school valedictorian who has raked in more than $400,000 in scholarships has had perfect attendance since pre-K, officials said.
According to WABC-TV, Ashanti Palmer, of Mount Vernon, New York, recently finished at the top of her class at Nellie A. Thornton High School. The graduating senior, who was enrolled in the performing and visual arts magnet program, also earned $430,000 in scholarships, including a full ride to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and awards from the institute's Bridge Scholars program and Mount Vernon City Schools, the district said.
“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,” Palmer told the district. “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.”
Palmer plans to study biomedical engineering at RPI and attend an Ivy League medical school, according to an article posted on the district's website.
In a statement, Mount Vernon City Schools Superintendent Kenneth R. Hamilton called Palmer's accomplishments "nothing short of remarkable."
“We strive to ensure our students graduate from here college- and career-ready, and Ashanti is a testament to that goal,” he added.
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