WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson Honors District's Top Students

Play associated audio
Sylvia Mbah (left) and Timothy Ray are among the 75 graduating seniors that DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson named the "best and the brightest" students in the District.
Kavitha Cardoza
Sylvia Mbah (left) and Timothy Ray are among the 75 graduating seniors that DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson named the "best and the brightest" students in the District.

D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson hosted a Scholars Luncheon to honor outstanding high school seniors, including valedictorians, salutatorians and student-athletes. Most of these high achieving students have full scholarships to universities across the country, from Columbia to Carnegie Mellon. And their success has not come without sacrifice.

Timothy Ray is the valedictorian from Ballou High School. His family has struggled financially and lived in homeless shelters for a while, but he says he was determined not to go down the path of drugs and violence.

"I had a couple of friends who died," he says. "I lost a lot of friends. They see me go in a different direction, and they didn't want to be my friends no more. I was determined I was going to graduate on top."

Every morning Ray would walk his two little sisters to their two different schools and then go to class himself. But he says it was worth it on graduation day.

"My mom was happy, she was ecstatic," he says. "It felt good to see her smile."

Sylvia Mbah is the valedictorian from Coolidge High School. She moved to the U.S. from Cameroon four years ago and was more fluent in French.

"I had to study twice as hard!" she recalls. "In English, I have to learn the words and then use it in sentences."

Mbah says she was motivated by all the opportunities available here, if she worked hard.

"Back home, if you have a family in the government, then you become somebody. But if you are a regular person, you can become no one. Here, you can become what you want; you make yourself who you are."

Henderson called the approximately 75 graduating seniors, the best and the brightest of DCPS.

"We expect you will prove to the world that the public school system in the nation's capital turns out some of the most amazing people in this world," she says.

Henderson hopes this event will become a DCPS tradition.


[Music: "Pomp & Circumstance, March #4" by Sir Edward Elgar from Orange Mecanique]

NPR

Writer James Alan McPherson, Winner Of Pulitzer, MacArthur And Guggenheim, Dies At 72

McPherson, the first African-American to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, has died at 72. His work explored the intersection of white and black lives with deftness, subtlety and wry humor.
NPR

Oyster Archaeology: Ancient Trash Holds Clues To Sustainable Harvesting

Modern-day oyster populations in the Chesapeake are dwindling, but a multi-millennia archaeological survey shows that wasn't always the case. Native Americans harvested the shellfish sustainably.

WAMU 88.5

Your Turn: Ronald Reagan's Shooter, Freddie Gray Verdicts And More

Have opinions about the Democratic National Convention, or the verdicts from the Freddie Gray cases? It's your turn to talk.

NPR

Writing Data Onto Single Atoms, Scientists Store The Longest Text Yet

With atomic memory technology, little patterns of atoms can be arranged to represent English characters, fitting the content of more than a billion books onto the surface of a stamp.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.