When Da’Vion Tatum was in the first grade he asked his mother for an algebra book. “My mom was like, ‘I ain’t ever seen nothing like this before,’” Tatum told FOX 26 HOUSTON.
Tatum is now a senior at Westfield High School in Spring, Texas a suburb of Houston. The teen says he taught himself algebra and his family has supported him along his journey through school.
“They really are my rock and my foundation,” Tatum added. “And, they really help me to really be a better me. I learned a lot growing up intelligent Black women.”
“I’m honored. I seriously — words can’t even describe how I feel,” Tatum said. Tatum got into 11 of the 12 schools he applied to including 7 Ivy League schools.
Tatum may have been shocked by all those acceptance letters, but his teachers were not.
“He’s just extraordinary,” Tracey Waller, AP English teacher at Westfield High School told the news station. “When I say that he just probably one of the smartest kiddos I have ever had the chance of meeting.”
Tatum’s teacher thinks the musician, athlete, and mentor to other students is remarkable.
“He’s not just in it for himself. Da’Vion started tutoring groups, mentoring groups for his peers,” David Mason, Principal at Westfield High School said.
Tatum is the first Black male valedictorian at his school and a published author.
“Being a black man, being in the position that I’m in, doing the things that I do, and bringing awareness to the things that I bring awareness to, it’s all part of a bigger picture. It’s all part of a bigger thing. I feel like it’s what kind of pushes me forward. That’s what motivates me and inspires me — knowing that I’m part of something bigger than myself,” he said.
Tatum plans to purse degrees in medicine, engineering, and law at Harvard. Tatum has gotten over $700,000 worth in scholarships including the highly competitive Coca Cola scholarship and Ron Brown scholarship.
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