Raylynn Thompson, a graduating high school student, has proven the haters and doubters wrong when she recently became the valedictorian at Muskogee High School in Oklahoma. With an exceptional 4.71 GPA, she has also been accepted to 62 colleges and offered $1 million in scholarship money!
“Black kids couldn’t be valedictorians.” That’s what a woman who saw her transcript, that was apparently leaked, unsolicitedly told her at a store after approaching her and asking her name.
She did not let the racist insult affect her. She told Diversity Inc, “That’s not the only racist comments I’ve heard… I just use those kinds of things to propel me. If you say I can’t do something, I’m going to go ahead and do it just to prove you wrong. I’m not going to let your words define me.”
Aside from graduating as the valedictorian out of the 328 graduating seniors, she will also have to decide between the 62 colleges, including University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, Texas A&M, Clark-Atlanta University, the University of Missouri, and the University of Tulsa, that have been vying for her. That also includes over $1 million scholarship money.
“At first it just started with small little letters,” Thompson told KJRH, “then it gradually increased to big envelopes, and then occasionally I would come home and there would be a box.”
Redish will begin college as a sophomore already after simultaneously taking courses at Indian Capital Technology Center and Connors State College while still in high school.
Redish plans to attend Alcorn State University, an HBCU located in Mississippi, to major in biology with honors. She aspires to become a doctor, specifically neonatologist so she could “help babies who are premature or have birth defects, because I feel like if I can help them get ready for the world, then nothing can stop them.”
It is a career very close to her heart since her younger sibling was born with serious health issues and was taken into the newborn intensive care unit when she was just 4-years old.
“I’m extremely proud of her,” her teacher Lisa Dotson said. “She is one in a million, because she really cares. Not just about getting the grade – she wants to learn, and every teacher wants that student.”