Ribault High School seniors are graduating today. Two students at a high school in Jacksonville, Florida, are creating record.
The top two students in the class are both African-American young men, which is a first for the school.
“In elementary school, my sister graduated 8th in her class, actually from here, Ribault High School. From there, I kind of aspired to be number 1,” said valedictorian Jeffrey Francis. “I seen that there weren’t many African-American men who were valedictorian. So I wondered how I could inspire other African-American young men if I was valedictorian.”
Their grades have been finalized, assignments have been submitted, and speeches have been prepared.
“I wanted to be free of a curse that had been passed down through the generations. Some of them, like a lot of my families, didn’t finish high school “Darrell Worrell, salutatorian, remarked
Surprisingly, the two are friends rather than competitors, having risen through the ranks together. They are the two students in their class of nearly 300 that have the highest grade point average.
“Becoming salutatorian kind of more so fell in my lap. I did work hard for it, of course, but it definitely was like, oh I’m moving up in ranks,” Worrell said.
Sure, if a long list of extracurricular activities and an associate’s degree before completing high school is considered dropping into your lap. Both teenagers had extensive resumes.
They both realized they were making history in more ways than one while they were sitting there.
Worrell remarked, “We just found out.” “I’m also a first-generation college student,” says the student.
During their four years of high school, the two stated they’ve learnt a few things.
“Anything is possible if you put your mind to it,” Francis stated.
“And being smart isn’t a bad idea,” Worrell continued.
Both Francis and Worrell are excited for their next steps in Tallahassee, where Francis will attend FAMU and Worrell will attend FSU.