“Being valedictorian means that all of the years of hard work have paid off. From a personal level, it also means that my work has been recognized in the sense that I dedicated a lot of time to getting the grades that I did and to investing the time to increase my skills in computer science and math and all the other classes that I took.
“On a larger scale, I think it encourages everyone around me as they can see that a boy from Ethiopia can actually succeed in America. Not just Ethiopians, but anybody on any level from anywhere in the world. They can actually come to a place and dedicate themselves and actually be something and become somebody.”