Culture

This California High School Student Will Become The First Ever Latina Valedictorian At Her School

A nightmare scenario became a dream come true for Natalie Ramos this past week. The senior from Jesse Bethel High School in Vallejo, California, is set to make history after her story went viral. Ramos will become her high school’s first Latina valedictorian after she allegedly had to fight for the distinction. This is how it all went down.

Jesse Bethel High School has changed course and will allow Natalie Ramos to enjoy her moment as valedictorian without sharing the stage.

Credit: Vallejo City Unified School District

“I am sending this message to address the many messages of concern we have been receiving regarding the selection process for the JBHS Valedictorian,” Cusi wrote in a letter addressing the viral controversy the school started. “Over the last few days, we have been working to ensure that the GPA calculations were done correctly. The selection process outlined in our handbook on page 14 reads as follows: ‘Valedictorian: The student with the highest ‘weighted academic GPA 9-12’ in academic classes from 9th grade through the first semester of senior year will be chosen the valedictorian for the class.’ Based on this criteria, and the updated GPA calculations, I am delighted to announce that Natalie Ramos is the Valedictorian for JBHS for the Class of 2019. I am looking forward to celebrating with Natalie and her classmates as they graduate in June.”

According to the Times Herald, the controversy started with Ramos’ counselor, who didn’t properly tell her that her GPA was the highest in her academy but not necessarily in the overall senior class. The high school is among many Vallejo schools divided into subject matter academies.

Natalie Ramos was supposed to be the valedictorian for her class but school officials tried to change things last minute and make her share the stage, so she pushed back.

Credit: Ivette Ramos/ Facebook

Ivette Ramos, Natalie’s mom, took to Facebook to get the word out that her daughter’s valedictorian title was being wrongfully taken away. She called out Principal Ramon Cusi’s intentions and says that it’s not fair her daughter has to share the title even if she had the GPA to show for it.

“My daughter Natalie is ranked #1 in her class with a 4.27 GPA,” Ramos said on Facebook. “She was told by her counselor that she would be the first Latina Valedictorian at Jesse Bethel High School and it seems like the Principal has a problem with that. Principal Cusi wants her to share the spot with 9 other students. This has never been done before at Jesse Bethel, why now? The moment a Latina becomes Valedictorian it seems to be a problem.”

Natalie’s sister even took to Twitter to show her support for her saying she “deserves the spotlight ” and urged followers to call the school to complain. The tweet’s replies were filled with replies calling out Principal Cusi for “discrimination” and “racism.”

Natalie would eventually issue her own statement in her mother’s Facebook post where she spoke up about the controversy.

“Knowing this, I know it makes it even more important to not share the spotlight with kids who don’t have the same GPA as me,” Ramos wrote. “Being the first is an honor in itself and I don’t want my light to be dimmed by having to share something that I worked towards all four years with others who have expressed to me that they wouldn’t feel right receiving the same honor as I have.”

Natalie’s story was spread all over social media gaining support from people everywhere.

Many online questioned the school’s decision to not solely honor Ramos for her achievements. One user said that the school’s principal “has a problem w/that b/c wants her to share the spot w/9 other students. This has never been done before. Why now? #NatalieRamos.”

Another Twitter user said this happened because Natalie was a minority. They claim that Ramos deserves the honor and shouldn’t have to share it.

“The rules always seem to change when history or greatness is accomplished by someone that is a minority in an institution. Why should Natalie Ramos have to share something she worked hard for the past four years with her classmates? “

Shortly after the story went viral, the school district responded with a letter explaining the controversy.

Credit: Vallejo City Unified School District

The letter explained how the students’ GPAs were calculated and claimed that three students had indeed qualified to be valedictorians. Natalie’s sister took to her Twitter again to point out that Natalie’s GPA had in fact been lowered since the story had gone viral.

The reaction from Ramos’s family and people online has been nothing short of positive for this great achievement.

Natalie’s sister took to Twitter to thank everyone for the support in the last week and for doing their part to get the story out there. She even called out those that talked down on Natalie during the misunderstanding.

“My family wants to thank each and every one of you who took the time out of your day to address this issue ! Si se puede! My sister has the highest GPA and thanks to all of you will be the first LATINA valedictorian at Jesse Bethel High School!” Ramos’s sister wrote. “AND for everyone who called my sister a liar and my family liars I’ve made you some humble pie!”

It was a crazy week for the Ramos family that started with anger and heartbreak over an achievement that should be celebrated. It goes to show the power of social media and what the support from family can do.

“I’m relieved,” Natalie told the Times Herald. “I think they’re doing the right thing now.”

READ:A Mexican Teenager Just Became The First Minor In 100 Years To Be Accepted Into A Post-Graduate Program At Harvard

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This 12-Year-Old MENSA Member Is Starting His Sophomore Year of College But Stays Humble— ‘I Just Grasp Information Quickly’

Fierce

This 12-Year-Old MENSA Member Is Starting His Sophomore Year of College But Stays Humble— ‘I Just Grasp Information Quickly’

CBS

Twelve-year-old Caleb Anderson has a head on his shoulder that’s steering him towards a bright and brilliant future. Most kids Anderson’s age are diving headfirst into their 7th-grade year, he on the other hand is headed to college.

Back to college that is.

Anderson is currently enrolled at Chattahoochee Technical College as a sophomore.

From Marietta, Georgia, he’s on track to graduate with his bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering in two years. Speaking to CBS News for an interview the pre-treen remains humble and chalks up his success to being quick.

“I’m not really smart,” Caleb explained in his interview with the outlet. “I just grasp information quickly. So, if I learn quicker, then I get ahead faster.”

When it comes to pursuing his education, Anderson has his eyes set on a greater prize than just earning his bachelor’s degree. The 12-year-old is intent on heading off to Georgia Institute of Technology or the Massachusetts Institute for Technology. He’s hoping to eventually wind up with an internship at Tesla working for SpaceX founder Elon Musk.

“When I was like 1, I always wanted to go to space,” Anderson said in a separate interview with USA Today. “I figured that aerospace engineering would be the best path.”

Just twelve and Anderson has made quite a few other accomplishments.

At just 9 months old he learned how to do American Sign Language began reading just a few months later. “I have this distinct memory of going to a first-grade class and learning there, and everyone was way taller than me, because, you know, I was 2,” he explained to USA Today. “I could barely walk!”

According to his interviews, Anderson began solving math equations by the time he reached his second birthday and qualified for MENSA at just 3 years old. MENSA is the largest and oldest high IQ society across the globe. The non-profit organization is open to people who score at the 98th percentile or higher on a standardized intelligence test. Members have included the likes of Geena Davis, Nolan Gould of “Modern Family,” and Joyce Carol Oates.

Explaining what it is like to raise a genius, Anderson’s father Kobi WKYC that he realized his kid was special when he began to speak to other parents.

“As we started to interact with other parents, and had other children, then we started to realize how exceptional this experience was because we had no other frame of reference,” Kobi explained. “He has far surpassed me in math, so I can’t help him anymore. Seriously! He’s in calculus two now!”

When it comes to her son, Anderson’s mother says that she hopes other parents see him as an example and that he inspires other Black children.

“I think people have a negative perspective when it comes to African-American boys,” she explained. “There are many other Calebs out there… African-American boys like him. From being a teacher — I really believe that. But they don’t have the opportunity or the resources.”

Check out Anderson’s interview below!

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Megan Thee Stallion Pens New York Times Op-Ed, Gives Two Scholarships To WOC: ‘Protecting Black Women Should Not Be Controversial’

Fierce

Megan Thee Stallion Pens New York Times Op-Ed, Gives Two Scholarships To WOC: ‘Protecting Black Women Should Not Be Controversial’

Prince Williams / Getty

Classy, bougie, outspoken.

Ever since making headlines at the start of 2020 for her hitmaker “Savage” rapper, Megan Thee Stallion has used her voice to call out injustice and celebrate women of color. In July her voice in these realms became even more loud and vital when she became a victim of an act of violence by a man. Now, the 25-year-old rapper is working vigorously to educate others about the importance of protecting Black women through her music, charity, and writing.

On Tuesday Megan Thee Stallion penned a New York op-ed about the fight to protect Black women and educate the world about their struggle.

In the opinion piece titled “Megan Thee Stallion: Why I Speak Up for Black Women,” the rapper tackles everything from her own recent experiences with gun violence to the legacy of Black women officials, including Democratic vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris.

At the start of her piece, the rapper commented on how “Black women are expected once again to deliver victory for Democratic candidates. We have gone from being unable to vote legally to a highly courted voting bloc — all in little more than a century.” She notes that “despite this and despite the way so many have embraced messages about racial justice this year, Black women are still constantly disrespected and disregarded in so many areas of life.”

She went onto point out that her recent performance on “Saturday Night Live” and how her recent experience of being allegedly shot by singer Tory Lanez led her to initially remain quiet. “My initial silence about what happened was out of fear for myself and my friends. Even as a victim, I have been met with skepticism and judgment,” she explained. “The way people have publicly questioned and debated whether I played a role in my own violent assault proves that my fears about discussing what happened were, unfortunately, warranted.”

“I recently used the stage at ‘Saturday Night Live’ to harshly rebuke Kentucky’s attorney general, Daniel Cameron, for his appalling conduct in denying Breonna Taylor and her family justice,” she noted. “I anticipated some backlash: Anyone who follows the lead of Congressman John Lewis, the late civil rights giant, and makes ‘good trouble, necessary trouble,’ runs the risk of being attacked by those comfortable with the status quo. But you know what? I’m not afraid of criticism. We live in a country where we have the freedom to criticize elected officials. And it’s ridiculous that some people think the simple phrase ‘Protect Black women’ is controversial. We deserve to be protected as human beings. And we are entitled to our anger about a laundry list of mistreatment and neglect that we suffer.”

Megan went onto share her own experiences as seeing herself through the eyes of others as a Black woman.

“Beyond threats to our health and lives, we confront so much judgment and so many conflicting messages on a daily basis. If we dress in fitted clothing, our curves become a topic of conversation not only on social media, but also in the workplace. The fact that Serena Williams, the greatest athlete in any sport ever, had to defend herself for wearing a bodysuit at the 2018 French Open is proof positive of how misguided the obsession with Black women’s bodies is,” she went onto write. “I would know. I’ve received quite a bit of attention for appearance as well as my talent. I choose my own clothing. Let me repeat: I choose what I wear, not because I am trying to appeal to men, but because I am showing pride in my appearance, and a positive body image is central to who I am as a woman and a performer. I value compliments from women far more than from men. But the remarks about how I choose to present myself have often been judgmental and cruel, with many assuming that I’m dressing and performing for the male gaze. When women choose to capitalize on our sexuality, to reclaim our own power, like I have, we are vilified and disrespected.”

The rapper’s op-ed comes on the heels of an announcement that she will be giving out two scholarships to women of color pursuing higher education.

Megan announced earlier last week that she wants to celebrate other women of color who “Don’t Stop” pursuing their higher education by giving out scholarships.

As part of a partnership with Rap Rotation, Amazon Music’s flagship global hip-hop brand, the rapper launched her Don’t Stop Scholarship Fund on Oct. 8. The scholarship fund is named after her newest single which features Young Thug and will go out to two female students pursuing an associate, bachelor or postgraduate degree in any field.

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