A brilliant 18-year-old boy named Da’vion Tatum has emerged as the first-ever black male valedictorian of Westfield High School in the United States after earning the highest grade point in his set.
Da’vion Tatum was awarded over $700,000 in scholarships and acceptances into 11 colleges and universities including Ivy League schools following his outstanding performance.
Da’vion decided about the university to attend out the 11 schools that accepted him and is on his way to Harvard University. He hopes his achievement will encourage other young students especially black students to not give up on their dreams no matter the stigma.
“Other young Black males can learn from my experience that you shouldn’t accept what society says about you just because it says it,” Davion said.
“Being a Black man may come with a stigma or stereotype, but that doesn’t mean you have to conform to it,” he added.
Based on his achievements and struggles, Davion wants to share his story through his autobiography titled “Thriving in my own lane”. He had been writing the book since he was in the 8th grade with the intention of showing how much he succeeds despite what people think of him.
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“It was to show that regardless of what’s happening around me, I’m going to continue thriving in my own lane,” I’m going to continue pushing for equity, inclusivity, and justice,” Tatum said.
He further said he faced so many stigmas growing up, people didn’t believe someone like him can have professional qualifications.
“I noticed that people didn’t see me in that light because I was a young Black man. They didn’t see me in the light of the next doctor, lawyer, engineer. we are more than simply a stereotype, was the message I wanted to get across. More than just thugs, we are. More than just athletes, we are,” he said.
Davion has enrolled at Harvard University to pursue a dual major in Government and Biomedical Engineering with the hope of contributing to the advancement of social justice, engineering, and medicine someday.