“we wouldn't ask why a rose that grew from the concrete for having damaged petals, in turn, we would all celebrate its tenacity, we would all love its will to reach the sun, well, we are the roses, this is the concrete and these are my damaged petals, dont ask me why, thank god, and ask me how” ~ Tupac Shakur~
For all intents and purposes Gary, Indiana is as concrete as it gets. It reminds me of the city of Camden which is just across the bridge from where I sit typing this post.
But out of Gary comes what can only be described as a beautiful rose. Her name is Katie Washington, and I just love telling her story.
"For the first time in the 168-year history of Notre Dame University, an African American has been crowned valedictorian.
'I am humbled,' said 21-year-old Gary, Indiana native Katie Washington to the Northwest Indiana Times. “I am in a mode of gratitude and thanksgiving right now.”
Washington has been accepted to five schools, including Harvard, but the biology major and Catholic social teaching minor will take her 4.0 GPA to Johns Hopkins University next fall, where she plans to pursue a joint M.D./Ph.D.
'Katie works so hard,' Washington’s mother Jean Tomlin told the newspaper. 'I told her when she went to Notre Dame, ‘You are representing your family, your church and the city of Gary. Make us proud.’ University officials said they couldn’t recall ever having a black valedictorian, and don’t keep record of their race."
Katie, you have made your family and your city proud. And now, you can add a black man from Philadelphia to that mix. [Story]
Thanks for the story Reena.