BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Two local teens are already making names for themselves, before leaving high school.

“For me, it’s more driven and just natural born. I’ve always wanted to be as good as I can possibly be,” The Dunham School senior Kari Johnson said.

“It was never a choice for me to have bad grades, and I think now that has just given me such a high standard for myself,” said The Dunham School senior Rhaia Davey.

College Board recognized Johnson and Davey’s hard work and has honored them with National African American Recognition Awards.

“It’s based off AP classes because it’s given by College Board, but it is also based on your GPA. So, you have to have higher than 3.5,” Davey said.

From left: Kari Johnson and Rhaia Davey. Courtesy: Dunham School, Johnson, and Davey families.

However, their achievements extend beyond what’s required. From the classroom to the gym, Davey and Johnson have packed schedules. 

“It’s great to study and try hard, but you also need to have other parts of your life to make you a multifaceted person,” said Johnson.

Johnson has started a gospel choir, earned several athletic awards, and received a very special invitation to visit West Point U.S. Military Academy.

“I see it, it’s one step into the next. So after this, I’m going to college and I want to set myself up for whatever college I desire,” she said.

Davey also has quite the resume. She made the Homecoming court, was awarded several athletic medals, and was named one of Dunham’s class leaders.

“It lays a really good foundation for what you’re trying to do at the next level,” she said.

What’s the next step for these phenomenal students?

“I want to go to college. I’m not exactly sure where, but I want to study biology. I’m really looking towards cell and molecular biology,” said Johnson.

“I want to play Volleyball for Mississippi college. I want to major in psychology and I want to be a private practitioner or child psychiatrist. So that’s what I’m looking for right now,” said Davey.

They are leaving some advice behind before they head off to college for students in high school.

“Like for me and for her, we are black and women. So, those are obviously challenges with the world that we live in. Don’t let those things bring you down,” said Johnson.

“And like the small things you do for people on a day to day can impact people so much… I think just being kind to people on an everyday basis can light up someone’s day” said Davey.

To learn more about the National African American Recognition Program, click here.