Valedictorian Deonte Bridges Overcomes Adversity

Deonte Bridges, Booker T. Washington High School's first Black male valedictorian in a decade, is making headlines after his touching graduation speech was posted on YouTube. In it, the Atlanta native speaks on overcoming arduous adversities, like being robbed at gunpoint, and his mother, Paris Hardaway, being diagnosed with leukemia. He spoke with ESSENCE.com about what helped him excel in school and his message to students in their daily lives. Here's what you had to say: Darlene commented via Facebook: "As a retired educator and a Metro Atlanta resident, I am so proud of Deonte and all that he has accomplished." Ebone wrote via Facebook: "Congratulations, Deontae. Keep striving for your dreams and don't let anyone turn you around."
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