Firsts are nothing new for Waller; Rabiu setting an example

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 6, 2005

Brittany Waller just couldn’t stop making King’s Fork High history. In the first months of Suffolk’s newest high school, she was elected the first Senior Class president. As the fall wound down, she was voted the first Homecoming Queen.

Then, about two weeks ago, Waller discovered that she’d snare one more spot in school memoirs; she’d be its first-ever valedictorian.

&uot;I studied hard and stayed focused,&uot; said Waller, who was also a member of the Crime Stoppers and BETA program at Fork (during her first three years of high school at Nansemond River, she played in the band, ran track, and cheerlead).

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Those study techniques also worked for Rahina Rabiu; when she wasn’t working on Fork’s BETA or Future Business Leaders of America clubs or volunteering at Oakland Elementary, the Nigeria native racked up the salutatorian award.

&uot;I was striving to be a role model for my younger brothers and sisters,&uot; said Rabiu, the oldest of five kids. &uot;I wasn’t working, so that made it easier. I knew I would definitely make an honor graduate, but I wasn’t sure about salutatorian.&uot;

This fall, she’ll attend Norfolk State University, and plans to double-major in chemistry and pre-med, hoping to become a pharmacist.

&uot;I’ve always been interested in doctoring, but I didn’t want to do the messy part,&uot; she said. &uot;Plus, I’m interested in chemicals.&uot;

Waller will go a bit farther away for college – after that, she’ll go even more beyond.

&uot;I’m going to the Savannah College of Art and Design (in Georgia) to study fashion design,&uot; she said. &uot;I’m hoping to at least get my foot in the door in the industry. After I graduate, I plan to go to Paris and see what opportunities there are for me. That’s the fashion capital of the world. I want to concentrate in formal wear and elegant wear.&uot;