Raylynn Thompson, a graduating senior at Muskogee High School in Oklahoma, has invited the naysayer who told her that “Black kids couldn’t be valedictorians” to her upcoming graduation on Wednesday. Thompson, who will be graduating with an exceptional 4.71 GPA, is the valedictorian and the best student out of 328 graduating seniors.
The unnerving statement came from a woman who had discovered her transcript after it had been leaked. she said. The woman isn’t affiliated with the school district but had the audacity to approach the student at a store and asked for her by name. She, then, told the young lady that Black people can’t be valedictorians.
Thompson took the racist insult in stride stating: “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.”
Good for her. It’s clear that Raylynn Thompson has raised the bar at Muskogee High School for every student.
Not only is Raylynn Thompson graduating at the top of her class, but she has gotten accepted to a staggering 62 colleges and has been offered more than $1 million in scholarship money.
“At first it just started with small little letters,” Thompson said about the offers, “then it gradually increased to big envelopes, and then occasionally I would come home and there would be a box.”
When she enters college, she will already be a sophomore because she simultaneously took college courses at Indian Capital Technology Center and Connors State College while still attending high school. Raylynn Thompson will graduate with more than 30 college credits under her belt.
There were tons of universities that were vying for the young girl’s commitment to their schools. The University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, Texas A&M, Clark-Atlanta University, the University of Missouri and the University of Tulsa are a few of those colleges.
Thompson plans to attend Alcorn State University, an HBCU, located in Mississippi. She plans on majoring in honors biology with a pre-professional track in order to pursue a career in neonatology, which focuses on care for ill or premature newborns.
Neonates hold a special place in the dedicated young lady’s heart. Thompson, when she was about 4 years old, spent time in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU) when one of her siblings was born with serious health issues.
The track was one reason she chose the university, but she said the main draw was the institution’s offer of a free college education, including tuition, books and fees.