In 2018, Destiny Brannon’s story went viral enraging readers following her being stripped of her valedictorian title by DeSoto High School in Texas due to an alleged technicality, donations flew in to lend support to Destiny and now, thanks to the outpour of generosity from the public, four years later, she’s set to graduate college nearly debt-free.
“Everything ended out working perfectly,” Brannon told WFAA. “I just feel very blessed and overwhelmed.”
Brannon, 22, is currently enrolled at the University of Texas where she majored in health and society,
According to reports, way back in 2018 when Brannon was recognized as valedictorian and received a plaque from the school board, during her graduation speech, she criticized the high school’s “subpar teachers.” Brannon’s family believes the speech resulted in her being stripped of her valedictorian title, theGrio reported.
Although the school blamed the mistake on a grade calculation error, Brannon’s parents argued otherwise saying that the school officials purposely changed her rank from no. 1 to no. 3, while the no. 4 ranked student, Brian Uzuegbunam, was moved to the top spot.
“It’s embarrassing, because I got so much publicity from them on being valedictorian, only to be told that’s a mistake,” Destiny said.
In a statement at the time, DeSoto ISD said that it “regrets that it failed to ensure that systems were in place to prevent this from occurring, but has since worked diligently to ensure that those at fault have been held accountable and that there is a system and process in place to verify student academic ranking as based on grades, grade point average and course weighting.”
As a valedictorian, Brannon was supposed to receive free college tuition for the first year of college in Texas, but it was revoked, she wasn’t kept in the know and found out as she attended freshman orientation at the University of Texas at Austin where she was told of the “embarrassing” blunder regarding her senior class ranking.
Brannon and her family immediately swung into action launching a GoFundMe to raise money to help pay for tuition at UT, which at the time cost $25,000 annually. Brannon ultimately raised just over $40,000, with one donor giving $10,000, according to the report.
“I made sure to thank everyone who donated,” Brannon said. “I just felt so blessed and overwhelmed.”
When UT heard about Brannon’s story, the university paid for all of her undergrad books and housing for four years.
They did NOT have to do that, so I’m very grateful they wanted to help me,” Brannon said.
According to Brannon the money she raised covered almost all of her tuition. She graduates in May and will attend nursing school in Dallas at Baylor.