Valedictorian with Perfect Attendance Since Preschool Gets $430,000 in Scholarships

Ashanti Palmer
Mount Vernon City School District

A high school valedictorian from Mount Vernon, New York, has a lot to celebrate throughout her academic career so far, earning up to $430,000 in scholarship money.

But that is not all Ashanti Palmer has to celebrate. According to her high school, the Nellie A. Thornton High School, Palmer has not missed a day of school since preschool.

If you add all those days up, it amounts to more than 4,600 days.

Palmer has also made honor roll every semester since she was in kindergarten.

“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,” Palmer said in a statement.

“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,” she added.

The 17-year-old credits her mother and her teachers for her success in her academic career.

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

She also received multiple scholarships, adding up to more than $430,000 to offset the cost of college. Palmer plans to major in biomedical engineering in the fall at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), where she plans to follow the pre-med track.

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