RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Harold Aquino is not your average high school senior.
The teen will soon graduate from George Wythe High School in Richmond at the top of his class. He has a 5.0 GPA and is set to receive multiple associate degrees.
“This whole journey started off in my eighth-grade year,” Aquino told 8News. “Where I am at now would have not been possible without my mentor Fung and my previous principal from George Wythe, Mrs. Reva Green.”
Aquino said they along with other faculty members have kept him on track during his high school years. Aquino has been taking Advanced Placement classes that have allowed him to gain college credit and given him a GPA boost.
His motivation to do well in school comes from aspiring to be like his mentor, a teacher, and his sister, who is trying to become one. Aquino also said he would like to give opportunities to students who are often overlooked.
“During my middle school years, before I got into high school, I wasn’t the greatest student. I wasn’t at the top of my game,” Aquino said.
But he didn’t give up.
His mentor and teacher, Mr. Kakim Fung, told 8News that Aquino is one of the most determined students. Mr. Fung met Aquino when the teen was in middle school and has been following his growth since.
“But with a little bit of effort from people around me — specifically teachers and for one my sister — I was able to exceed their expectations along with my own,” Aquino said.
When Aquino graduates with his high school diploma he will also be receiving three associate degrees in social science, computer science and mathematics. He also hopes to be heading to Virginia Commonwealth University in the fall as a senior.
The teen plans to pursue teaching as a career and maybe even return to where it all started — George Wythe H.S.