FLORENCE, S.C. – Whether it’s a new strum pattern on a stringed instrument or a mathematical equation, Grace Avin loves to learn.
Avin recently graduated as the valedictorian of South Florence High School. She plans to attend the College of Charleston and major in biology, but she also enjoys creative expression through the arts.
During her valedictorian speech, Avin played, “Waiting on the World to Change” on her ukulele.
Avin said she is looking forward to moving to Charleston, exploring a new city and participating in the art scene in Charleston. She wants to join an acapella group and audition for the choir at the College of Charleston.
However, she will miss South Florence High School, especially her show choir friends.
“People say that you find your lifelong friends in college, but choraliers was like a family,” Avin said.
Avin said South Florence’s teachers helped her find her niche.
“They gave me a lot of opportunities to find out what I wanted to do,” Avin said.
Avin said she is “artsy” but also enjoys math and science. She passed the AP calculus exam with the highest score possible.
Ultimately, Avin wants to use her gifts to become a veterinarian. When her dog gave birth to seven puppies last October, Avin enjoyed caring for the mother and puppies.
“It was such an adrenaline rush, really, because it was unexpected,” Avin said.
Avin also owns a turtle and a cockatiel bird.
Avin graduated with a 5.308 grade point average. While she is a straight-A student, Avin said that does not mean every class was a breeze.
One of her most memorable moments of high school was making a 35 on a quiz and sitting in her car crying and eating cookies with one of her best friends.
“When you fail, you can’t stay down,” Avin said.
Avin has an almost full ride to the College of Charleston. She received the top merit scholarship from the college and Palmetto Fellows.