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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Brilliant Lady breaks New York University’s 22-year-old record, emerges first black valedictorian

A brilliant lady named Kelsey Moore has broken the 22-year-old record of New York University after she emerged as the first black best-graduating student in her faculty.

Kelsey made history as the first-ever black valedictorian of New York University’s College of Art and Science since its inception in 22 years. The 22-year-old told New York local that she did not know that the valedictorian position at the university even existed until her junior year. 

“When I first came to NYU, I was already in an area that was predominantly white. So I already knew I had extra weight on my shoulder as a black woman and so that propelled me to continue doing my best, being the best that I could be. I knew that I would have a lot of naysayers,” she said.

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Moore said that since that moment, she would try to be satisfied with how she performed as long as she felt like she did her best.

 

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“My first grade I ever got back was a B- on a paper. I called my mom panicking, like ‘Girl, can I do college?,” she said. She graduated from the university with a bachelor’s degree in Africana Studies with a 3.90 grade point average.

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Kelsy said she first came to New York University with a keen interest in being a lawyer with a focus on international politics. She took her acceptance to the university as an opportunity to get out of South Carolina and to study international relations but ended up taking a different path.

“I came in knowing I wanted to do a minor in Africana Studies and those classes were the most inspirational to me. By freshman year spring I completely changed my major, I was Africana Studies and Public Policy, and I’ve stuck with it, since,” she said.

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Kelsey was also awarded the Presidential Honor Scholarship. She said that upon her resumption into the university, she found that people closely inspected her Southern identity, which influenced how she moved through academic spaces.

Eventually, she poured this sentiment into her scholarship and decided to specialize in African-American women’s history in the 20th century. Kelsey’s thesis focused on the role of gossip for black women during the Great Migration.

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“I was looking to explore gossip as a geopolitical mechanism to accept their agency to imagine new pathways of freedom,” she said.

She noted that being a first-generation student, she had never thought that pursuing a career as a professor was possible, but she was motivated by black representation in academia and mentorship from black professors.

“I’m not afraid of being in academia. I know that there are going to be challenges, especially as a black woman, a dark-skinned black woman at that, I can hear the criticism as I speak,” she said.

Kelsy said that her grandmother and mother are those who inspired her success at school. She mentioned that her grandmother went as far as to call her high school to inform them that her granddaughter is the valedictorian.

“She’s always instilled that every generation is supposed to be better than the last,” she said. Advising black girls of the future,” Kelsey said “Truly be unapologetic about who you are, and what you want. Demand what you want. You dictate your path.

Kelsey mentioned that looking forward, she plans to pursue Doctorate studies at the prestigious Johns Hopkins University in the United States.

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