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2020 Outstanding Urban School Graduates
2020 Outstanding Urban School Graduates
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Twin sister, brother become valedictorian and salutatorian at Houston High School
Although Houston’s Worthing High School salutatorian Kerdy Jn Baptiste is three minutes older than his twin, in the end it was his sister, Kerdian Mia Jn Baptiste, who earned the title of valedictorian. But there is nothing but love and appreciation for each other’s accomplishments.
According to Worthing High School Principal Khalilah Campbell, the Baptiste twins were in a tight race for valedictorian.
“I thought he was going to catch her,” Campbell said, “but in the end, Kerdian won, (and) her twin brother, Kerdy, is our salutatorian.”
“I have been blessed to have my twin brother Kerdy alongside me, holding my hand,” Kerdian said. “For years we supported and uplifted each other, especially when it came to school. Kerdy is the reason I am valedictorian, and I am so proud that he is alongside me as salutatorian.”
Kerdy is equally proud of his sister, saying, “Kerdian pushed me to be the best person I can be, and I am so proud that she is the valedictorian.”
Kerdian admits that ever since she found out her senior year had been paused due to COVID-19, she has been feeling depressed.
“However, I came across an inspiring quote from pastor Charles Swindoll recently,” she said. “He pointed out that ‘Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you respond.’ To me this means that I am much stronger than any obstacles placed in my path. Being a virtual valedictorian means I can unleash the strength I never knew I had. Even if things do not go my way, I can make a new way.”
Despite feeling that she can’t make as much of an impact on her classmates as she did in person, Kerdian continues to stay in touch with them.
“The only thing I can do virtually is continue to push them to finish strong,” she said. “I offer as much help as I can when it comes to assignments. I do group Facetime calls to check in on my friends and see how they are doing.”
These remarkable siblings have served as role models to their classmates, balancing academics, sports, and free time throughout high school.
Kerdian received Worthing’s Colt Award in recognition of being a dedicated athlete and committed student. She ran track, played volleyball and basketball, and is the president of her senior class. She is a member of DECA, whose members learn business and leadership skills through academic conferences and competitions. Kerdian has volunteered for the Houston Food Bank and her Sunnyside community. In her free time, she works at her brother’s restaurant and is learning sign language. She says she is still navigating the challenges of distance learning.
Although Kerdian was accepted to more than 15 schools, she has decided to attend University of Texas at Austin. She is now applying for scholarships.
Her brother Kerdy plays basketball and volleyball, is a member of the Kappa League, and also volunteers at the Houston Food Bank and Sunnyside Community. His favorite subject is economics, and he enjoys music and acting in his free time. Kerdy has been accepted to more than 10 schools in Texas but is still undecided.
Kerdian and Kerdy are grateful to their mother and “hard-working brother and supportive sister-in-law.” Kerdy also would like to recognize his best friend, Makayla Alexander, for inspiring him to always do his best.