The valedictorian of Wilson Magnet High School, Biiftu Duresso, likely worked extremely hard to graduate at the top of her class. But Duresso acknowledges one key component for her success: her parents.
In 1983, Duresso's parents came to the U.S from Ethiopia with no job or formal education, Yahoo Parenting reported.
"They had the audacity to imagine something better for me and my siblings," Duresso said according to Yahoo.
Duresso's father works nights as the supervising custodian at her Rochester, New York high school. In an interview with WHAM, he shared the enormous pride he has for his daughter and that he learned to read and write at age 17.
"Oh my God, I wish I could write, I wish I could read and write," he said, describing his feelings as a youth.
He later earned a GED at Monroe Community College and then a college degree at SUNY Brockport College, WHAM reported.
But it was his daughter's trip back to Ethiopia, that inspired her the most:
Duresso was a determined honors, "A" student. But her trip to Ethiopia gave her the clearer perspective she has now.
"I want to go to med school," she told WHAM. "And I'm hoping to go back to Ethiopia."
She explained that she one day hopes to open a clinic in Ethiopia as well.
Duresso is attending Barnard College, an affiliate of Colombia University in the fall.
It's clear that her parents' strength and honorable work ethic, has passed on to Duresso.