ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Onovu Otitigbe-Dangerfield is the valedictorian of Albany High School’s Class of 2021. She is the first African-American valedictorian in the school’s 152-year history and will graduate with a 4.0 GPA.
“It’s overwhelming and really surreal to me, especially hearing from Black girls from other schools that it inspired and motivated them, reaching out to me [saying] ‘it was so nice to see one of us in there,'” Onovu told Good Morning America. “It’s not really a win for just me, it’s a win for my community. I feel a responsibility now. I’m not only representing myself. I’m representing a group of people.”
She added, “I’m really honored to be in this position, but I certainly hope that I am not the last.”
Onovu told GMA that she applied to more than 20 colleges and was accepted into Harvard, Yale, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, Boston University, Northeastern, Georgia Tech, Johns Hopkins and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute — to name a few.
“Our entire City is so proud of [her],” Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said on a Facebook post. “She said she always wanted to be the hardest working person in the room. She encourages others to do the same.”