17-year-old girl becomes first-ever female to win best graduating award in US school, makes her grandma proud

Nina Mitchell, a talented 17-year-old from Illinois who won the best graduating prize at DeKalb High School, has made history by becoming the first black woman to do so.

With a stellar 4.549 GPA, Nina Mitchell shattered the old record that had stood for 159 years. Nina Mitchell said she is pleased of her accomplishment since it has made her a role model for young black girls.

“I was very humbled and honored. I am representing Black students and female students. They can look up to me and say, ‘Wow. Nina did it, so I can do it.’ That was really important for me,” she told GMA.

While attending the school, Nina not only excelled in her academics but also made significant contributions to her neighborhood. She was a member of the Spanish Club, served as president of the Key Club and Honor Society, and was on the principal’s advisory board.

Grandmother Pearlene Carter, who is now 75 years old, graduated first in her class from Coldwater, Mississippi’s Walker High School in 1959. Nina called her an inspiration for her accomplishments.

“I didn’t get here alone. My parents always set me up for success, and my brothers inspire me to do better,” she said.

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