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'Consistency and persistence': Chamberlain High School Valedictorian prepares for graduation

Posted at 5:38 AM, Apr 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-15 07:28:35-04

High school graduations start next month in Tampa Bay, a proud moment for students and their families.

But at Chamberlain High School, the entire school will be beaming with pride because of one student in particular.

Kossay Srayaldin spends a lot of time at the school library. He's like a sponge, soaking up knowledge.

"I think it's consistency and persistence. Those are the two things that allowed me to learn. Just like, I was very interested in learning. So I found the resources and I used them," said Srayaldin.

Four years ago, at the end of his eighth-grade year, his family moved from Venezuela to Tampa. Srayaldin couldn't read or speak any English.

Next month, he'll graduate top of his class.

"People were quite impressed by the fact that somebody that started from nothing, just three years ago, rose up to the top and became number one in school. So I think people are just impressed by it. From my perspective, I think it's pretty normal for somebody that works hard to get to where he wants to be," explained Srayaldin.

Srayaldin never lost sight of his goal.

He said, "I believe that there for every student, there is always a main show, and a sideshow. So main shows, just like what happens at school and their academics and what they should be interested in out there. This is like part of their life. And their sideshow is everything that happens with their friends, peers, and at home, so everything outside of it. So I think what most students fail at doing is just making their main show their actual main show, they actually let the sideshow become their main show."

And when asked about how proud his parents may be he said, "they're very happy just because they, you know, they always they had to move from country to country, just so that they can be free and become more capable of doing what they want to do. And seeing like their kids because not only me, I have two other brothers and they're amazing. One of them is a Junior here and he's great. So when they see like their children doing really good, they actually like it fills their heart. They're very happy."