ROCHESTER, NY (ABC) — The valedictorian at an upstate New York high school says her father has kept a close eye on her education as head janitor at her school.
Biiftu Duresso’s parents emigrated from Ethiopia decades ago. Her father escaped life as a teenage soldier. He didn’t know how to read when he arrived in the U.S., but he taught himself. He also recently earned a bachelor’s degree.
Now his daughter is headed off to college at Barnard. She says she couldn’t have done it without inspiration from her parents.
Biiftu said in her valedictorian speech, “They had the audacity to imagine something better for me and my siblings.”
Most of Biiftu’s classmates also know her father.