Toryana Jackson Named First African American Valedictorian in 50-Year History of New York’s Henninger High School

This has been a challenging year for high school students. Virtual classes, masks, a disruption in the daily functioning of attending school. However, out of the chaos came success stories. One of them is about Toryana Jackson, the first African American valedictorian in Henninger High School history.

In a televised interview on Channel 3, Ms. Jackson was asked, how does it feel, not only to get through this challenging year but to make it out as a historic graduate at the same time?  Toryana’s response, “It feels amazing, I worked so hard for so many years and everything is playing out how I wanted it to. I’m just grateful. “

To be a part of history, how does that make you feel? “I feel excited, happy. I just had a lot of emotions. I’ve been working hard since 8th grade. I’ve been taking high school level classes back then, and when I got to the high school level, I had to take college level classes. It’s been a lot of years of hard work and dedication, staying focused in a pandemic, keeping on top of my schoolwork. It just all came together, and it paid off at the end.”

Being the first, Jackson reflects on the impact of her achievement, “Feels great, I feel I can be a role model for younger girls that are my skin tone, because they can feel like they can be in the top two, or be at the top of their class too since it was done by me.”

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SOURCE: Urban CNY News

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