African American valedictorian is Thornton Fractional South High School's first ever

FOX 32 NEWS - In 57 years, Thornton Fractional South High School has never had a valedictorian of African-American descent, until now.

The young lady who will go down in history says she’s known for four years that she wanted to be T-F South’s top student and she had a reason for it.

As Superintendent Creg Williams announced, “Our first African American valedictorian,” the crowd cheered loudly.

There was overwhelming excitement for the young lady who gave it her all. Nnyla Lampkin set a goal for herself freshman year, which was the first time she saw photos of past valedictorians.

"Going into the lunch room, you see like a line of pictures for every valedictorian. I noticed that there are no African Americans up here….nobody up there looked like me and I was like let me try to be the first one,” said Lampkin.

And she did it. Honors and AP classes and a 4.36 GPA, beating out the salutatorian Frances Romero by a full point. Romero also makes history becoming the school’s first Latina salutatorian.

"I've spent 19 years here and I've seen a demographic change and I think it's a wonderful, break through moment for our school,” said Jake Gourley, principal.

Lampkin says she hopes her accomplishment will serve as an inspiration to others, that if you work hard for something, you can make it happen. A humble young lady in the spotlight, but wanting to recognize her peers.

"We all have a wide variety of accomplishments . It's the class of 2017, so that's what I wanted to focus on, not me myself,” said Lampkin,

Lampkin plans to attend Howard University in the fall where she’ll major in political science.

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