Black Teen Is The First African-American Valedictorian at a Predominantly Asian School

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Queens Teen Shanelle Davis Is First African American Valedictorian at School.

Shanelle Davis

Reported by Kacie Whaley

Shanelle Davis was announced the first African-American valedictorian of her school, Benjamin Cardozo High School in Bayside, New York.

“It’s an incredible honor. It’s still surreal to me,” she said.

The Queens, NY native teenager was full of excitement when she saw that out of the 845 students in her graduating class, she was ranked number one in academic achievements.

“Out of 845 students, and mine said number one. And then afterward, I was speaking to administration in the school, and they’re like ‘You know, we’ve never had an African-American [valedictorian] before.’ Then that’s how I found out,” she said.

Davis said she hopes that the valedictorian honor will inspire other African-American students at her school to realize that they, too, can be the top academic.

“School is like, it’s very diverse, but it’s predominantly Asian. So most African-Americans in the school think that OK, so since there’s been, like, always an Asian or a white valedictorian that they can’t do it. But then I can be an example for them to show that they can also do it. So maybe next year they’ll have another African-American one,” Davis said.

Davis plans to attend Harvard University in the fall.  She is also the first in her family to attend a four-year university.

Congratulations, Shanelle!

Sources: 1, 2