The First African-American Male To Be Valedictorian Of His High School Received Over $1 Million In College Scholarship Offers
A graduating teen made history as the first African American male at his school to deliver a speech as the valedictorian.
Rawlin Tate Jr., 18, graduated from Woodland High School with an impressive 4.7 GPA, the highest average for a black male student since the Georgia campus opened in 2007.
Tate Jr. has taken "21 AP classes" and "participated in several extracurricular activities," according to the school's Facebook page. He proudly declared on Twitter that he was first in his class for seven years straight.
The student downplayed his achievement and told Good Morning America:
"The title, I don't think about it that much. I know it's significant, but I've just been doing what I've been doing [throughout] my schooling."
INCREDIBLE YOUNG MAN: Please join us in recognizing Rawlin Tate, Jr. The 4.7 GPA student is the first African-Ameri… https://t.co/0xezKzmZF2— FOX 5 Atlanta (@FOX 5 Atlanta) 1558659573
His proud father, Rawlin Tate Sr., hopes his son inspires other male students to work hard to achieve a similar benchmark in their early academic careers.
"I see it as a benchmark for other males and not only at Woodland, but at other locations. Rawlin succeeded in extra curricular and academics. This is the opportunity for other men to [say], 'Hey, being smart is OK.'"
@abc13houston Congrats young man! https://t.co/bKy7GAzq8b— 𝓙𝓾𝓫𝓲𝓵𝓪𝓽𝓲𝓸𝓷𝔃 (@𝓙𝓾𝓫𝓲𝓵𝓪𝓽𝓲𝓸𝓷𝔃) 1558629795
Soon, the internet began praising his impressive achievement.
@FOX5Atlanta @OneJurorMatters Great job Rawlin. Don't let anyone or anything get in your way of success! Just the b… https://t.co/gw88UdNc37— Missy (@Missy) 1558722444
@FOX5Atlanta @High5Sports Super Congrats young man keep up the good work— Tameka Marks (@Tameka Marks) 1558732787
Tate Jr. received $1 million in scholarship offers and was accepted to all 14 schools he applied to, including, Louisiana State University, Morehouse College, Ohio State University and Georgia Institute of Technology.
He will be studying mechanical engineering on a full academic scholarship at North Carolina A&T State University.
His school posted:
"You are an inspiration to many and we are so proud of all of your accomplishments!"
@FOX5Atlanta @Keith__1983 Congratulations Rawlin!!!!!— Basta (@Basta) 1558659893
In addition to excelling in his studies, Tate Jr. was an active athlete having played varsity tennis and varsity football, according to Woodland High School principal Shannon Ellis.
Ellis told GMA:
"He is brilliant, talented, a musical genius and is one of the most well-rounded students that I've ever had the opportunity to work with."
Young black excellence 🤴🏾 https://t.co/nf0wfcXYjS— AD 🌸 Jackson (@AD 🌸 Jackson) 1558619274
@MelanieLawson13 Congratulations Rawlin Tate Jr. my sincerest best wishes and Godspeed in all your endeavors you ha… https://t.co/yNis5Ov8uZ— R.E.K.M4Lyfe (@R.E.K.M4Lyfe) 1558702821
The teen is also an accomplished musician. He is a concert pianist, was an oboist in the district honor band and was recognized as the "most improved" percussionist in the drum line.
While he gladly accepted accolades from his peers and the online community, he expressed his gratitude for his creator.
On Twitter, Tate Jr. demurred:
"None of this would be possible without God….. so yeah gotta give him the credit."