Virginia Student Becomes High School’s First African-American Valedictorian

Source: WTVR

A Virginia student recently made history as the first African-American to graduate as valedictorian from his high school.

Eighteen-year-old Jahlil Nickens graduated from Lancaster High School this spring as its valedictorian, making him the school’s first-ever black student to receive the honor. The oldest of six children Jahlil maintained a 4.6 GPA while participating in school activities and athletics.

READ: Suit Claims Black Student With Higher GPA Had To Share Valedictorian Title

“From the time that Jahlil was little, we could tell that he was special. He has always excelled in his studies,” Tekecia Nickens, his mother, said to WTVR. “When he was in the first or second grade, he said he was going to be a U.S. Senator.”

“Jahlil has overcome a lot of adversity and obstacles,” Jahlil’s mother added. “From having to deal with the fact his father was incarcerated not once but twice, and having to leave his friends and [twin] sister to attend Chesapeake Academy in middle school.”

READ: Harvard Student Graduates With Honors After Submitting Mixtape As His Dissertation

Now that he has graduated Jahlil plans on attending Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Engineering and wants to earn a Master’s Degree in Computer Science.


Elijah C. Watson

Elijah Watson serves as Okayplayer's News & Culture Editor. When he's not writing he's listening to Sade and crying or watching My Hero Academia with his partner.

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Elijah C. Watson

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