Adopting ‘Rosa Parks Mindset’, Tobechukwu Philips Emerges First Black Valedictorian In American College

The Oasis Reporters

May 17, 2019

First Black Valedictorian in Alvin High School , Nigerian Born Tobechukwu Philips.

The 125 year old academic history of ‘White’s only’ dominance in Texas, Alvin High School was recently shattered by a Nigerian-born teenager, Tobechukwu Phillips a student passed out with a 6.9 GPA, after earning A’s throughout her stay in the school. She emerged the first Black valedictorian in the school’s history.

Alvin High School was originally established in 1894 and only became desegregated in 1965 to allow African-American students enrol in the school.

Speaking to Because of Them We Can, Phillips said, “Maintaining the highest GPA in my class is a difficult task. It truly takes time management but more importantly acknowledging what you do it for. I know that I am no longer just representing myself.”

Phillips had a word of advice for other students. She said, “My biggest advice to other scholars of colour is to truly adopt the mindset of Rosa Parks — ‘No.’
Do not conform to the stereotypes that have held us under thumbs for so long,” she explained. “Do not be discouraged when someone speaks out against you, simply allow what they say to fuel your fire. But more than anything, do not remain tight-lipped. Stand up for what you believe in and take it upon yourself to be the change you’ve always wanted. Say ‘No’ to the ways of the world and stick out.”

Phillips will attend the Nursing School at the University of Texas on full scholarship later in the year. Her plan is to one day own her own clinic as a pediatric nurse practitioner.

The excellent facilities in American institutions has been known to give Nigerian born scholars the ambiance to perform highly and excel, a fact harder to achieve back home due to the lack of adequate attention paid to the sector in Nigeria.

Additional reporting :
Punch
Because of Them We Can

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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