A 17-year-old who has been elected a valedictorian is the first Black woman to achieve the title in the 159-year history of her high school. Nina Mitchell graduated with a 4.549 GPA from the DeKalb High School in DeKalb, Illinois.
Nina was Honor Society and Key Club Member. She was also a founding member of the Spanish Honor Society, a member of the Spanish Club, served on the advisory board of the school, a founding member of the peer mediation system, played volleyball and ran basketball.
I was really humbled and proudNina said to Good Morning America. She also said that I represent Black students and female students, who would look up to me and think, Wow, Nina did it, and I would do it. It was very important to me. Academic success runs in the family of Nina. Robert graduated sixth at DeKalb High School and placed seventh in Michael’s class.
Nina’s grandmother, Pearlene Carter, 75, was also a Valedictorian in Coldwater, Mississippi, representing the 1959 class of Walker High School. Nina became the first Black president of Youth Involved in Philanthropy in her state, a legislator with the youth and government of Illinois YMCA and a member of the Youth Advisory Council.
Nina loves reading and playing Scrabble with her two brothers during her free time: Robert, 21; and Michael, 20. I didn’t get here alone, “Nina said.” I’ve always been set up by my parents for success and my brothers encourage me to do more.
To me my grandma has always been an inspiration, and a role model, she said. She’s a force to be counted on. She’s always making her friends brag about me and made me feel so special.
Nina ‘s father, Darren Mitchell, said the ambition of his daughter had always been to graduate from the top of her class. I know Nina’s got a lot of recognition for her academic achievement and leadership skills but why I’m most proud of my daughter is she’s a decent person,Mitchell said to GMA. She treats people with dignity and compassion he said. She has a beautiful spirit and is merely a fine human being.
Nina was accepted at Urbana-Champaign at Harvard , Stanford, Northwestern and the University of Illinois where she will be attending as a student in management. Nina is aspiring to become an avocate.
Her advice to up-and – coming students is to put school first, get engaged in your group and “never give up.”