A young lady named Alecia Washington has broken the 100-year-old record of R.J. Reynolds High School, North Carolina in the United States after becoming the first-ever black valedictorian of the school.
The young African-American girl graduated with top honours from R.J. Reynolds High School, North Carolina in the United States.
While a student, Alecia was an active student as she was involved in extracurricular activities throughout her time in high school, serving in the Ebon Society, as vice president of the Student Government Association, and as a member of Youth Grant Makers and helping create grants for student-led organizations.
“I was able to be a voice for those who didn’t feel like they were heard. I was able to bring that to my principal and bring that to the school board members if we wanted to make change,” she explained.
Alecia is very proud of the historic achievement; she hopes to continue inspiring other Black students.
“When I started thinking, this is so much bigger than me, like representation matters. I know that’s important. I know from experience, representation definitely matters. When you see somebody that looks like you, and something you want to do, or passionate about, it makes a huge difference. It’s not something I take lightly at all,” Alecia said.
Lavonya Washington, Alecia’s mother, said she’s very proud of Alecia, she appreciated those who paved the way for her daughter to be the first black to be admitted into the high school.
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“Her name was Gwendolyn Bailey. She set the foundation for Alecia. I think about the challenges that she faced as a student, and it made it possible for Alecia to have this title today,” said Washington.
Alecia said she’s grateful to everyone who supported her in the journey of making the historic achievement especially her school counsellor and great-grandmother who taught her an important lesson.
“If you’re going to invest in anything, invest in yourself. Invest in getting a good education and expand your knowledge because that is nothing nobody can take away,” Alecia recalls her great-grandmother words.
She shared a post on her Instagram page to celebrate this historic moment, saying her ancestors and family would be proud of her achievement.
“Top 2 and I ain’t number 2 #valedictorian .I am R.J Reynolds first African-American valedictorian in 100 years of it’s existence! This is a historic moment that I’m sure my ancestors are very proud of and would say job well done! I thank God for his guidance, I’m thankful for my family, friends, and my amazing support system. Looking forward to graduation and celebrating this amazing class of 2023 on Sunday,” she shared.
Alecia also recently just earned her associate degree from local Forsyth Technical Community College. She plans to attend the University of North Carolina on a full scholarship with an aspiration of becoming a pediatric nurse anesthetist.