“#Hats off to this valedictorian with perfect attendance since pre-K”
June 26, 2020 | 9:28am | Updated June 26, 2020 | 9:46am
Ashanti Palmer (right) graduated at the top of her class, and with a perfect attendance record.
Courtesy Mount Vernon City School District
Valedictorian Ashanti Palmer, who recently graduated from Nellie A. Thornton HS in Mount Vernon, will keep her flawless attendance record going into college as well, according to “Good Morning America.”
Palmer, 17, plans on attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, to study biomedical engineering on a pre-medical track.
“There were days when I didn’t feel like going to school, but I know if you missed a day, then you were behind, so I pushed through,” Palmer, whose favorite subject is math, told the program.
“[My friends] know I hate being behind in my work, so it was normal for me to show up.”
It all paid off — literally.
Palmer, who completed school with a grade average of 99.08, was accepted to 18 colleges, and awarded more than $430,000 in scholarships.
Thanks to her standout academic record, Palmer was inducted into the National Honor Society.
Even before that, she had stayed on the honor roll since kindergarten. Her extracurricular activities included a mentoring program, in which she and other school-age girls were paired with career-focused women.
And despite it all, she also made time for fun. She writes her own poetry, enjoys anime and listens to dancehall and rap music.
“She’s amazing,” school principal Dr. Evelyn Collins, told GMA. “I told our superintendent, ‘We have a student who’s never missed school and who has been on the honor roll since kindergarten.’ How do we celebrate this child so other students can see that it’s possible? She stayed on the path. She stayed on the journey. It’s phenomenal.”
“Focus on your own definition of success” is Palmer’s advice to her fellow students.
“Look at someone and see inspiration, but never see envy,” she added. “We all have our own paths to take. Be focused on that goal.”
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