A Nigerian-born Texas high school senior, Tobechukwu “Tobi” Phillips, has become the first Black valedictorian in Alvin High School’s 125-year history.
Phillips was awarded this honor after earning a 6.9 grade point average on a 4.0 scale. Due to her excellent performance, the Nigerian genius received the Full-Ride Forty Acre Scholarship to attend the University of Texas at Austin where she would proceed to study Nursing. It is the most prestigious scholarship offered by the school. In fact, out of 4,000 students, only 16 were chosen.
“Maintaining the highest GPA in my class is a difficult task,” Phillips told Because of Them We Can.
“It truly takes time management but more importantly acknowledging what you do it for. I know that I am no longer just representing myself,”
Out of a school with approximately 2,800 students, Phillips is one of only 86 black students at her school and encourages other Black students in similar situations to stay true to themselves.
“My biggest advice to other scholars of color 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 said.
Apart from being an A-student academically, Tobechukwu Phillips is also a decorated volleyball and track athlete. She is a Sunday school teacher, a member of the Rho Kappa Honour Society, the president of the National Honour Society and an AP ambassador.