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Valedictorian with perfect attendance since Pre-K awarded more than $430K in scholarships

Valedictorian Sierra Morgado's graduation tassel has "2020" on it as she listens during a graduation ceremony for the senior class of Chambers High School at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Tuesday, June 23, 2020, in Homestead, Fla. Forty-one seniors graduated from the school and crossed the start-finish line to receive their diplomas, during the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Valedictorian Sierra Morgado's graduation tassel has "2020" on it as she listens during a graduation ceremony for the senior class of Chambers High School at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Tuesday, June 23, 2020, in Homestead, Fla. Forty-one seniors graduated from the school and crossed the start-finish line to receive their diplomas, during the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Ashanti Palmer’s days in school have paid off.

Not only did the New York teen earn her title as valedictorian, but she was awarded more than $430,000 in scholarships, ABC7 reports.

The graduating senior from Nellie A. Thornton High School and the Performing & Visual Arts Magnet Program has also achieved perfect attendance.

According to the report, Palmer has never missed a day of school in her entire education career from Pre-K through high school.

“Ashanti’s achievements in the Mount Vernon schools have been nothing short of remarkable,” said Dr. Kenneth R. Hamilton, Mount Vernon City School District Superintendent. “We strive to ensure our students graduate from here college- and career-ready, and 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.”

Despite the coronavirus pandemic disrupting traditional graduation plans, Palmer was able to deliver her valedictorian speech during a broadcast.

“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,” said Palmer. “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. It wasn’t until 10th grade that I realized I hadn’t missed a day, and then I wanted to keep up the streak.”

According to ABC7, Palmer has received multiple scholarships worth more than $430,000 to cover all of her educational expenses at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a private university near Albany, New York.

According to the report, the well-achieved graduate plans to pursue a degree in Biomedical Engineering and Medicine, following RPI’s pre-med track.

The student says by following RPI’s pre-med track, she could become eligible to continue her education by pursuing an M.D. from Albany Medical College, ABC7 reports.


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