For the first time in Junction City High School’s history, two Black girls are graduating at the top of their class as valedictorian and salutatorian. The two have known each other since kindergarten.
"It feels good to be the top two Black females because they have never had it," valedictorian Alexis Peterson told KTVE.
Peterson and salutatorian Taykeetria Rogers have blazed a trail inundated with Black girl magic. In addition to capturing the school’s highest academic honors, the two successfully juggled multiple extra curricular activities.
Rogers, was a top cheerleader and basketball player. The outlet reports that she was named all-conference and player of the year in basketball and to the all-state cheer team two times in a row.
"I managed by taking it a day at a time," Rogers said. "Focusing on one thing and when the next thing got here focusing on that."
Peterson was also a member of the cheerleading squad and spent time outside of school involved in church and community focused activities.
Rogers will head to Louisiana Tech in the fall, while Peterson is planning to attend Northwestern State.
They credit their success to the support of God, their parents and their community and God. Their advice to their peers is the same advice that guided their efforts.
"Never try to change yourself," Peterson said. "Always try to be a better you."