We’ve all missed school for one reason or another: sickness, grieving, or simply because we didn’t want to. Well, almost all of us. Ashanti Palmer, a very inspirational high school valedictorian, is not only one of the smartest at her school – she’s never missed a day of school since kindergarten!
Worth Countless Scholarships
You would think for 17-year-old and valedictorian Ashanti Palmer that earning the highest honors at Nellie A. Thornton High School in Mount Vernon, New York, would be enough. However, Palmer has an even more incredible achievement: she never missed a day of school, from kindergarten to high school graduation. “I knew I couldn’t miss a day,” she said. “It just felt wrong.”
It seems impossible: every student thinks about skipping school every once in a while! However, Palmer is not like others her age. When most teens went to the movies or played video games at home, this valedictorian studied. When others called out because of things like snowstorms, Palmer went to class. She even went during coronavirus! “I felt like they should have canceled — but I went,” she said. “I was basically the only one in the classroom.” Through all the years, Palmer kept her head, and grades up – and it paid off!
A Bright Future
During a socially distanced graduation ceremony, Evelyn Collins, Nellie A. Thornton’s principal, praised Palmer’s incredible ability to always stay focused and on task. “No one had to tell her to be determined,” she said. “It’s simply who she is. She is aware of her gifts, but is very comfortable sharing her gifts with others. We are looking to hear her name later in life. She is an inspiration.” After the ceremony, friends and family celebrated the occasion with a car parade in honor of Palmer’s fantastic achievements.
Meanwhile, Mount Vernon Schools Superintendent Kenneth Hamilton wanted Palmer to know that perfect attendance shouldn’t be that important. “I don’t want her to get so pressured that she feels she has to be this flawless young woman,” he said. “We’re all subject to frailties in life. Things happen, and it’s okay. She has a culture, a society, a village of people who will stand ready to support her.” Now, the valedictorian has kind words for all the seniors struggling to deal with graduating during coronavirus…
Learning To Love Every Moment
Ashanti Palmer has a fantastic way of looking at the crazy, changing world of coronavirus, murder hornets, BLM protests, and whatever else 2020 has in store for the world. “That’s what college will be like,” the valedictorian noted. “It was eye-opening and showed me how quickly things can change. I think I learned to take every moment more preciously and to be aware of everything going on around me.”
Speaking of college, Palmer plans to attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, where she earned a scholarship! There, she intends to study medicine, become a doctor of soft-tissue mechanics and prosthetics afterward. “I just always liked knowing how the body works and figuring out ways to improve it with technology to make life easier,” the valedictorian said. We cannot wait to see what Palmer does next! We’re sure, given her incredible track record, it will be stellar!