HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- This weekend, when the Texas Southern University class of 2023 graduates, Nora Rodriguez will be honored as valedictorian. However, TSU's valedictorian is not only excelling in the classroom.
Rodriguez, who is graduating with a GPA of 3.98 and a degree in biology, is one of the top pitchers on TSU's softball team.
"I definitely had to learn a lot of time-management skills - that was the biggest thing," Rodriguez explained to ABC13. "To-do lists are my best friend. Our coaches are also very flexible. They're super helpful in working with me and my schedule, and I definitely wouldn't be able to do it without them."
Rodriguez, whose parents are from Puerto Rico, said they have been an integral part of her journey. After graduating from TSU, she will attend McGovern Medical School at UT Health Houston, where she'll study to be a doctor. Her goal: work with underserved populations.
Rodriguez says she hopes to be a role model for young boys and girls.
"I always thought scientists or doctors all looked like Albert Einstein," Rodriguez admitted. "So I never thought someone like me could do it. Always keep going and keep pushing. It's OK to have minor setbacks - progress is never linear. There's going to be hills and valleys, so as long as you keep going - you'll be successful."
"I don't think it's hit me, yet," she said of being named valedictorian. "Until I'm on that stage and see everyone, will I realize I did something this crazy and this cool."
Graduation is set for Saturday. However, if the TSU's softball team reaches the winner-take-all game Saturday - the valedictorian would miss graduation.
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