Albany Teen Is The First Black Valedictorian In Her School’s History

An Albany, New York teen is the first Black valedictorian in her school’s 152-year history.

Onovu Otitigbe-Dangerfield, 17, is set to graduate from Albany High School in June with a 4.0 GPA. According to Good Morning America, she is the co-captain of her soccer team, co-editor in chief of the school’s digital newspaper, and president of several clubs. 

When she’s not in school, Otitigbe-Dangerfield volunteers at the Myelin lab at Albany Medical Center, participates in the Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP), is a volunteer for Bible-based education outreach, and somehow finds time to work a part-time job in a nursing home.

Otitigbe-Dangerfield said her favorite subjects to study are her engineering classes, which contribute to her pre-engineering diploma. She has applied to more than 20 colleges and was accepted into Harvard, Yale, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Stanford, Boston University, Johns Hopkins, Northeastern, Georgia Tech, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Carnegie Mellon, and more. Otitigbe-Dangerfield is still undecided about where she will end up in the fall.

“It’s overwhelming and really surreal to me, especially hearing from Black girls from other schools that it inspired and motivated them, reaching out to me [saying] ‘it was so nice to see one of us in there,'” she told GMA. “It’s not really a win for just me, it’s a win for my community. I feel a responsibility now. I’m not only representing myself. I’m representing a group of people.”

“I’m really honored to be in this position, but I certainly hope that I am not the last,” Otitigbe-Dangerfield added.

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