BOSTON (CBS) — The number one students at more than 30 Boston high schools were praised and celebrated Tuesday for their academic achievements.
“This is a very special 35 young men and women. Nineteen were born somewhere else, it tells you about the diversity of the city, tells you the success of our school system. This is the best event of the year,” Mayor Tom Menino said.
Most of the teenagers have overcome poverty, language barriers and other difficulties.
Leslie Torres came from the Dominican Republic. Yen Nhi Tran is from Vietnam.
“Sometimes it’s so difficult for me because English is my second language,” Tran said.
Both students came to the states just two years ago.
“My first year here was really difficult but thanks to my teachers and all the support from my classmates, everything worked out and here I am,” Torres said.
It was also a graduation of sorts for Superintendent Carol Johnson, retiring this summer.
“I have enjoyed every single moment working in Boston,” Johnson said. “And especially because I have had the chance to meet some of these outstanding young people.”