New York HS Valedictorian Graduates With $430k In Scholarships And Perfect Attendance Since Pre-K


June 27, 2020

Talk about impressive!

A New York high school student was named valedictorian of her school, received more than $430k in scholarships, and has also never missed a day of school in her entire academic career, Fox 5 DC reports. 

Ashanti Palmer was named valedictorian of her graduating class at Nellie A. Thornton High School in Mount Vernon, NY. The senior also received more than $430,000 in scholarships, which will all help to cover her expenses at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, including full room and board and a book stipend. Even with all of her accomplishments, there was still one that outshined them all – Palmer has never missed a day of school, ever.


“Being named valedictorian feels good because it shows that all the hard work I’ve put in over the years has paid off, and that effort is being celebrated in a big way. In terms of my perfect attendance, it wasn’t something that I sought out. I knew that showing up to school every day was important, because even missing one day can set you back.” 

That’s right, perfect attendance since Pre-K, something Palmer said she didn’t even realize until her sophomore year in high school, when she made the conscious decision to “keep up the streak.” Due to the coronavirus pandemic, she gave her valedictorian speech virtually during commencement, speaking about her plans to pursue pre-med and encouraging her peers.

Dr. Kenneth R. Hamilton, Mount Vernon City School District Superintendent spoke about Palmer, saying, “Ashanti’s achievements in the Mount Vernon schools have been nothing short of remarkable. We strive to ensure our students graduate from here college and career ready, adn Ashanti is a testament to that goal. Her perfect attendance record throughout her many years in the district have helped build a foundation of academic excellence that she will utilize in the next chapter as a student of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.” 


Palmer will pursue a degree in biomedical engineering and medicine at Rensselaer, the oldest tech research college in the U.S. She hopes the foundation of work ethic she set in her early learning career will continue to serve her and looks forward to the next chapter. “Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has a great biomedical engineering program, and I’m looking forward to taking part in that. They also have a wonderful women’s mentoring program, which is something I value in an undergraduate collegiate experience,” Palmer said. 

Congratulations Ashanti! We’re so proud of you!

Photo Courtesy of Mount Vernon City School District


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