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Georgia Teen Earns 4.7 GPA and Makes History as School's First Black Male Valedictorian

Georgia Teen Earns 4.7 GPA and Makes History as School's First Black Male Valedictorian

18-year-old Rawlin Lee Tate Jr. has a lot to celebrate. With a 4.7 GPA, the high school senior is the first Black male to be valedictorian in Woodland High School's history. Holding the highest grade point average in his class also helped him earn over 1.2 million dollars in scholarships.

Over the course of his high school career, Tate took 21 advanced placement courses and never earned anything lower than an A.

“My lowest grade from my high school career was a 98,” Tate told Because of Them We Can.

Recently named a Georgia Scholar by the Georgia Department of Education, Tate's academic resume earned him 14 college acceptance letters to schools like Ohio State, Florida A&M University, Georgia Tech, Morehouse, Howard, Rose Hulman, Hampton, University of Georgia, North Carolina A&T and Tuskegee amongst others.

When he wasn’t studying or doing homework to maintain his A average, he was busy with extra curricular activities and school related clubs. In addition to playing two varsity sports, being a member of the band and being inducted into seven national honor societies, Tate made time to hone his musical skills as a concert pianist and recording artist.

To celebrate his accomplishments, Tate posted a remix of Soulja Boy’s “Pretty Boy Swag” to his Twitter account. In just 24 hours it already has close to 250,000 views. His opening line set the tone for the remake.

“This right here is my swag, 4.7 GPA I just secured the bag.”


A question we always get when these stories go viral is "how did s/he do it?" Its clear that one thing Tate did often was raise his hand for help.

“I would stay extra for tutoring a lot, and I was never afraid to ask questions in class,” Tate said.

He credits his success to God and his ability to stay focused.

“My advice to others is to always stay humble and do your best, and don’t get preoccupied with competing.” 

Tate has decided to take his talent to North Carolina A&T in the fall. He’s attending on a full academic scholarship and is planning to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering.