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Valedictorian with perfect attendance since pre-K gets more than $430K in scholarships

She said she was in 10th grade when she first realized she had never missed a day of school.

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. — A 2020 high school graduate in New York is graduating at the top of her class and has earned more than $430,000 in scholarship money.

On top of that, Nellie A. Thornton High School's valedictorian Ashanti Palmer has never missed a day of school, according to the school's website.

Starting as soon as pre-K, Palmer has had perfect attendance for her entire school career. It wasn't until she was in tenth grade she said she realized she had never missed a day of school. 

“Being named valedictorian feels good because it shows that all the hard work I’ve put in over the years has paid off, and that effort is being celebrated in a big way,” said Palmer. “In terms of my perfect attendance, it wasn’t something that I sought out. I knew that showing up to school every day was important because even missing one day can set you back. It wasn’t until 10th grade that I realized I hadn’t missed a day, and then I wanted to keep up the streak," Palmer said.

Palmer's next goal is to get a degree in biomedical engineering and medicine. Right now, she plans on attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for her biomedical engineering degree. 

Palmer has also received more than $430,000 to help her pursue her goals. 

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