Timi Adelakun isn’t letting a global crisis keep him from making history at his high school.
Not only did he become the first Black valedictorian of South Broward High in Hollywood, Florida, but he earned the highest GPA ever recorded at the school.
"Coming from a low-income community, it means a lot in general because of the way I was brought up," Adelakun told ABC News.
The 18-year-old recorded a 5.604 grade point average and said he was informed by school officials that he could make history before his senior year even started. He also joked that his GPA will most likely be higher when he graduates.
Adelakun is a first-generation American and his parents are from Nigeria. He’s also the youngest of three children. And while his graduation will be a special moment, even if via video, Timi says the moment will be bittersweet as his father was deported back to his home country over a decade ago and won’t be able to share in the special occasion.
"He's missed out and it's not his fault. It's not any of our fault," Adelakun said.
His father lived in the United States for roughly 28 years after coming to the country as a student in 1981. Adelakun says his family is still fighting to bring him back.
"He left when I was in the first grade. ... I miss his physical presence and involvement," he said.
Adelakun is slated to deliver a speech during his high school's virtual ceremony in June. He said he plans to provide "some positive reinforcement" for the class of 2020 in wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Adelakun is headed to Pomona College, a private liberal arts college in Claremont, California, which he says offered him a full scholarship. He was also accepted to nearly a dozen other colleges, including Columbia University, the Juilliard School and the University of Southern California.
Keep shining Timi! Those are some very impressive accomplishments.
Photo: Siriwat Nakha / EyeEm