Thousands of students, families and educators came together at Acts Full Gospel Church Monday evening for the 18th Annual African American Honor Roll Celebration.
The event honored African American middle and high school students from across OUSD who achieved a cumulative 3.0 GPA or higher, with special recognition going to students with a GPA of 3.75 and above.
About 1,500 students in grades 8-12 were recognized for their hard work and dedication to their studies.
McClymonds High freshman Ray Cole III told KTVU that this is only the beginning of his journey to success.
“The first time, I got five A’s and three B’s, and I was like I can do better than this, and I’m going to continue to improve,” he said.
Honoree Tamia Holmes, a senior at McClymonds High, has been on the honor for five straight years. She told KTVU the loss of loved ones to gun violence and her internship at Highland Hospital and the morgue has inspired her to be a nurse.
“I saw a lot of young people in there, and it was just heartbreaking. I just wanted to do better for my community,” she said.
Tamia, who says she will be the first in her family to attend college, has a full scholarship to attend UC Berkeley.
The celebration was sponsored by Oakland Unified School District’s Office of Equity, the African American Male Achievement initiative and the African American Education Task Force. Guest speakers included Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and OUSD Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell.
“This celebration is so important to our young people, reminding them not only that their hard work is paying off, but that all of us see and honor their achievements,” said Johnson-Trammell. “It’s also about celebrating the families and educators who play such critical roles in these successes.”