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Top Scholar/Athletes of Boys & Girls H.S. Share Success Strategies

Valedictorian Folashade Frazier, eyes on the prize: She stayed focus.

Hail, hail to the Boys and Girls High School Class of 2011 Valedictorian Folashade Frazier.    
   And while graduating from high school is that time in every teenager’s life when they make the transition from being a child into adulthood, Frazier’s reflection won’t be long because she’ll be packing her bags to attend the University of Michigan.

Valedictorian Folashade Frazier

Frazier states that a lot of her classmates were surprised that she was picked for valedictorian for their upcoming graduation next Tuesday, but to her it’s always been a matter of staying focused on her schoolwork and just getting the work done.

“When I first came to Boys and Girls, I didn’t really know anyone, so I just focused on my work,” Frazier said. “During my sophomore and junior years, I got to know the school a little better, and during my senior year I became friends with most of the people in the senior class.”

Frazier also gives credit to the encouragement she has received from her family, especially her mother and her older brother who she looks up to and attended Boston College. But her biggest motivator was herself and her self-determination and focus.

Earlier this week, Frazier was going over her valedictorian speech with the assistant principal, and said she found it very difficult.


 “There’s only so much you can say in a speech because of time,” said Frazier, adding she wanted to make her speech funny, to bring some of her personality in her speech.

 Other than school, Frazier was on the basketball team and softball team. She had a full plate with managing her schoolwork, athletics and social life.

While such a busy life isn’t easy and doesn’t work for everyone, Frazier said she is the type of person that likes to keep herself busy.
     After her graduation, Frazier will spend her summer in Michigan for a program at the university. It wasn’t exactly how she planned to spend her summer but she says she’s looking forward to it.

It will be a way for Frazier to get a head start, meet new people and have a change of scenery, as she’s grown up in New York City all her life and is ready for something different.

 And she’ll leave these words of advice and this little secret to her academic success.


“Do your work. Study! But have fun doing it. Because if you don’t have fun you’re going to slack off,” said Frazier.

    Salutatorian Johanna Jimenez , going the distance: She maximized her time.

Hard work, involvement and a long train ride home are the secrets to the Boys & Girls High School 2011 salutatorian Johanna Jimenez.

“I was surprised that they picked me, but I was happy too,” said 17-year-old Jimenez after learning she was chosen.

Salutatorian Johanna Jimenez

Jimenez states that the school was also looking at about three other students for salutatorian.  She attributed her success to maximizing her time on the long trek from her home in the Bronx to Brooklyn five times a week. 

“On the long train ride home, I would study and do my homework,” Jimenez said.


 Once she got home she wouldn’t have time to chat on the phone for long because she had to go to bed and get ready to start her long trip all over again.  Throughout her school career, Jimenez has focused on her schoolwork.   She also was a part of the school’s cross country track team.

 “I was also on the dance teams and I was a part of the Student Government for a little while and I participated in community service,” Jimenez said

The track team was one of  the things that attracted her to Boys and Girls. Jimenez said that she originally was going to attend DeWitt Clinton High School in her native Bronx, but heard about Boys and Girls from a family member who also attended.

   Now Jimenez is looking forward to attending Wheaton College in Illinois, but she has the pre-college jitters that a lot of incoming freshmen face.

 “Making new friends is like starting all over again. But I’m looking forward to the change like being independent.  Sometimes change is good,” Jimenez said.

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