Metro Atlanta valedictorians share secrets to success

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Metro Atlanta valedictorians share secrets to success

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Alice Peng is the 2017 valedictorian of Gwinnett County's Norcross High School. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED

Now that metro Atlanta high school seniors are turning their tassels, the members of the class of 2017 are ready to embark on the next chapter of their lives. Here are words of advice from some local students who excelled in the classroom, each earning the title as his or her school’s valedictorian. Some of the responses were edited for brevity.

Aiyasia Peoples is the 2017 valedictorian of Redan High School, a DeKalb County School.CONTRIBUTED The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Aiyasia Peoples

School system: DeKalb County School District

School: Redan High School

Extracurriculars: drama, National Honor Society, National Technical Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society

College: Howard University

Intended major: biology pre-med.

What is the best advice you have about succeeding? If you want to succeed, you will have to stay focused. You don’t have to plan every step, but at least know what you want your endgame to be.

What advice would you give to a freshman just starting high school? I want you to realize that your freshman year is the most important year of your high school years. You create the base for your GPA this year. So study hard early so you can relax more later.

Tanish Pradhan is the 2017 valedictorian of Gwinnett County's Parkview High School. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED

Tanish Pradhan

School system: Gwinnett County Public Schools

School: Parkview High School

Extracurriculars: Technology Student Association secretary and chapter officer; National Honor Society president; National Spanish Honor Society; Beta Club; Mu Alpha Theta; Science National Honor Society; and Parkview Student Leadership Team

College: Georgia Tech

Intended major: Biomedical engineering.

What is the best advice you have about succeeding? Succeed as a community, not as an individual. It is crucial to share one’s knowledge and talent with others and to use your skills to help others. Do well unto others, and good things are bound to happen to you.

What advice would you give to a freshman just starting high school? Understand the importance that the next four years will have on the rest of your life. It’s a time to enjoy life with friends and family and to pursue one’s hobbies, but the impact you make today will help determine your future leading into graduation, college and beyond. So play hard, study harder and use the high school experience to develop yourself as a student and a person.

Alice Peng is the 2017 valedictorian of Gwinnett County's Norcross High School. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED

Alice Peng

School system: Gwinnett County Public Schools

School: Norcross High School

College: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Intended major: art history and pre-med

Extracurriculars: National Art Honor Society, French Honor Society.

What is the best advice you have about succeeding? Success is a consequence of hard work, not a goal to work toward. Instead, work harder to be a little bit better every day.

What advice would you give to a freshman just starting high school? Be open to new experiences and people, you never know what the future holds. Also, remember that everything is less important than it seems in the moment!

Tommie Robinson is valedictorian of Jonesboro High in Clayton County.CONTRIBUTED The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Tommie Robinson

School system: Clayton County Public Schools

School: Jonesboro High

Extracurriculars: Cross country (9th & 10th), track and field (9th), and National Honor Society (12th)

College: Georgia Institute of Technology

Intended major: Physics while concentrating in astrophysics. I will later go on to graduate school to study astrophysics.

What is the best advice you have about succeeding?

“If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.” — Ryan Blair

What advice would you give to a freshman just starting high school?

Mishaps should be treated as a hurdle, not a stop sign. Don’t stop because you didn’t get what you wanted; persistence is key to success.

Anna Ho is the valedictorian of Morrow High School in Clayton County.CONTRIBUTED The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Anna Ho

School system: Clayton County Public Schools

School: Morrow High School

Extracurriculars: Beta Club, National Honors Society, Technology Student Association, Latino Student Union and Math Club

College: Georgia Institute of Technology

Intended major: Neuroscience.

What is the best advice you have about succeeding?

Succeeding takes time, consistency and, most importantly, perseverance. Succeeding may take the form of some mistakes and failures, but success is really about understanding your goals, how to get there and making it happen.

What advice would you give to a freshman just starting high school?

High school is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so enjoy it! Learn about yourself, try new extracurricular activities and don’t be afraid to push yourself. Take AP classes or dual enroll when you can. It will definitely pay off, and when it gets stressful, breathe.

Ebitimi Orubina Helena Oliviero

Ebitimi Orubina 

School System: Clayton County Public Schools 

High School: Mount Zion High School 

Extracurriculars: Basketball, DECA, Chick-fil-A Leadership 

 College: Georgia Tech 

Intended Major: Computer Engineering 

What is the best advice you have about succeeding?

Remember that you shouldn't be the only benefactor of your work. Do everything in your power to aid everyone you can, and success will be inevitable. 

What advice would you give to a freshman just starting high school?

Stay focused on the end goal (the diploma), but keep in mind that no man is an island. Find comrades that can help you laugh and finish a paper at the same time.

A well-deserving student received a scholarship for becoming valedictorian while overcoming homelessness.

Staff writers Eric Stirgus and Marlon Walker contributed to this article.

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