A Mount Vernon, Washington teenager has accomplished a lot in her life and now she’s her high school graduating class’s valedictorian. However, being at the top of her class is only a part of Ashanti Palmer’s accomplishments. The inspiring thing about this young lady is that she’s never missed a single day of school since Pre-K. It’s rare for a student to never miss a day of school. Most kids will have an illness here and there over the years, but if Ashanti ever got sick, she just soldiered through. Now her hard work over the years has paid off in the amount of $430,000 in scholarship money.
After graduation from Nellie A. Thornton High School and the Performing and Visual Arts Magnet Program, Ashanti will attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to pursue a degree in biomedical engineering, which will be fully covered by her scholarships. The superintendent of her school district is Dr. Kenneth R. Hamilton, and he couldn’t be prouder of this young woman. He said that her achievements in his district have been “nothing short of remarkable.” Hamilton added that while the district strives to serve all students and make sure they’re college and career-ready, Ashanti stands out.
Hamilton says that the young lady’s perfect attendance record has helped her to build a foundation of academic excellence that will hold her in good stead when she starts her next chapter. Graduations looked different this year than they have in previous years because of the coronavirus pandemic, but she was still able to deliver her valedictorian’s address via a broadcast. She said that being named valedictorian “feels good” and it makes her feel that all her hard work has paid off. The interesting thing is that Ashanti didn’t set out to have perfect attendance, but she knew missing school for even one day would set her back.
Then, when she was in the 10th grade, she realized that she had never missed a day of school. That motivated her to hit the final sprint with a perfect finish. Ashanti will attend medical school after doing her undergraduate work. Watch this excellent young woman’s inspiring story below.