While most 15-year-olds anticipate their high school experience, Janiya Baker is already looking forward to college! This year Baker made Miami-Dade County public school history when officials bumped her from ninth to twelfth grade in just one year.
If all goes as planned, Baker’s accomplishment means she could be crossing the graduation stage next spring. WSVN was the first to report this Black Girl Magic story on Monday (Aug. 21).
Congratulations to our very own Janiya Baker on being recognized for being the first student in MDCPS HISTORY to jump from 9th grade to 12th grade. Congratulations Janiya! You are going to do great things 🙌🎉 @suptdotres @mdcpssouth #broncopride #exit1 pic.twitter.com/lXnffCI69l
— Homestead Senior High School (@HomesteadSHS) August 22, 2023
In a televised interview, Janiya told the outlet she was simply “ready to finish school.” But her mother says she noticed her daughter’s knack for academics early on.
“I noticed she was very accelerated,” the mother said of Janiya as an elementary student. “…I’m like, ‘Ok she don’t make Bs, so then I’m like, let’s put her in higher classes, and then she started accelerating, accelerating and she went higher and higher and she never dropped the ball so I was, ‘ok let’s go for it.”
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The mother says both she and Janiya’s father, Travis, feel “proud of [Janiya.]” Adding that they “raised her to be the intelligent young woman that she is.”
After Janiya set her sights on graduating early, the 15-year-old reportedly boldly presented the idea to her supportive mother.
“She was like, ‘Mom, I’m ready for it, I’m ready to go off, I’m ready to graduate, I’m ready to be me,” Janiya’s mother told WSVN.
Janiya Baker: Class President, Cheerleader, Miami-Dade County History-Maker & College-Focused
As you’d imagine, Janiya told WSVN the feat wasn’t easy to accomplish. The 15-year-old balanced her school load with extracurricular activities like being class president and varsity cheerleader.
All in all, she says it was “a lot of work.” Nonetheless, the workload didn’t stop Baker from ranking highest in the GPA category among her class.
Beyond Mom and Dad, her circle of supporters includes the Homestead High School principal Mr. Samuel J. Louis. Speaking to WSVN, they praised the 15-year-old’s “grit” and “perseverance.”
“It shows a young lady with tenacity and the vision to accomplish her future goals, sooner rather than later,” Mr. Louis said.
After she dons her high school cap-and-gown, Janiya hopes to attend Florida International University. She wants to study business and further her athleticism as a cheerleader for the Panthers, per WSVN. And Baker already has a few college credits under her belt, per Miami-Dade Schools.
In the meantime, Janiya’s hometown plans to honor her fast-tracked high school experience later this week with a ceremony at Homestead City Hall.
As for advice for future academic champs like her, Janiya said:
“Never give up and keep going even if it gets hard, and just have a great support system around you.”
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