Tera Poole had no idea she was the valedictorian until she saw it 2 days after graduation. But what she did know was that she was dedicated and working hard the whole time. Her and nine other black students held each other down to make it through the year. “When it came to studying for classes, we'd study together in the library. If it came to things outside of school that we were having hardships with, we always made sure we were there and speaking with each other,” Poole said in an interview.