Top D.C. students share their keys to success

WASHINGTON – Some of the District’s sharpest students were honored Monday for their drive to succeed in school.

For Rickay Thompson, graduating at the top of her class was no easy task.

Thompson became pregnant while she was a sophomore at W.D. Woodson High School. But with the help of her family, including her twin sister, Mickay Thompson, both girls will not only graduate, but also with the highest grade-point averages at their school.

“We pick up each other’s slack,” said Rickay. Mickay agreed, saying, “If I’m slacking, she’s going to push me.”

Rickay, the valedictorian, and Mickay, the salutatorian, both finished their high school careers with GPAs of more than 4.0, and plan to study law at George Mason University.

Charlotte Hovland, a senior at Wilson High School, was awarded top honors after finishing with the highest GPA in the nation’s capital — a 4.5.

Her best advice for younger students: Don’t fall for the junior-year myth.

She describes the myth as, “You just have to do it. Then you can be done and then senior year you can relax. And that is a complete pack of lies.”

Louis Booker, a senior at Luke C. More High School, says his key to success is paying attention to school work and always making sure he has time “to smile.”

Samantha Nelson is a senior at Cardoza Education Campus. She is leaving high school with a 3.1 GPA. She made it through by trying not to procrastinate, because delaying assignments “will just become overwhelming in the end,” she says.

Nelson has been awarded a full scholarship to the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the fall.

D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson held the luncheon at Verizon Center to honor the students for their hard work.

“Some of the stories underneath these accomplishments are amazing in terms of what these young people have overcome,” Henderson says.

And for making the grade, the students also received a $100 Amazon gift card to help them as they move into the next chapter of their lives.

Follow @WTOP on Twitter and on Facebook.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up