Many were surprised to hear that she defeated the odds by making a difference and facing obstacles to become the second African-American Valedictorian in Vancleave High School history. Courageous, faithful and trustworthy…three words that signify Khadeejah Franklin, the 2019 Valedictorian.
While leading the pack, Franklin fulfilled her academic obligations above the odds. Creating stepping stones towards her destiny as she began the journey being in the top of her class. Less than 10 percent of the senior class was African-American, but that never stopped Franklin. Instead, it gave her the push she needed to compete for better.
Participating in three sports, in contrast to what others believed, she excelled in everything she touched. Volleyball, basketball and softball accomplishments rounded this prestigious young lady into the young woman you see today.
One of Franklin’s greatest gifts is her ability to serve. Being a faithful member of her church, participating in athletics and excelling in academics have given her the acknowledgments of achieving great success as a Family, Career, Community Leaders of America locally as well as at the state level. She will also attend the FCCLA’s National Leadership Conference in Anaheim, California, in June.
As referenced in her valedictorian speech from Vancleave’s graduation ceremony, Franklin said, “First Lady Obama says to go high when they go low.” It has not always been easy for her, yet worth it, as the oldest child of Triniss Wilkerson. Sacrifices were made for the betterment of the family. Under the guidance of her mother, the balance was maintained no matter how busy their schedule was. Moving from Moss Point to Vancleave when their family was young afforded them opportunities to strive to be remembered for something positive.
Remaining the light in the midst of darkness has assisted Franklin to be the example she has always desired to be – not only for her family but for the world. Being committed to Mississippi, Franklin plans to attend the University of Mississippi in the honors program with a full ride.
She desires to leave a legacy for others to: learn your worth, find your worth, know your worth, and keep your worth.
Words to live by, to say the least, as she moves forward with the desire of becoming a neurosurgeon. This is only the beginning for Franklin. Keeping God first is the priority, and she knows the sky is not the limit for her.