MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR: Edwin Ross II, 18
High academic honors and striving for success is a family affair for Santaluces High School valedictorian Edwin Ross II.
He shares academic excellence and a drive to be the best with his mother, Shelia Ross, and his sister, Evelyn. Ross said his success is like a “running joke” with in the family because he always has tried to be like the two women who have inspired him.
“I was excited (finding out that I was valedictorian) because it was a goal I’ve been working towards all throughout high school,” he said. “My sister graduated in 2013, and she was the valedictorian of her class. And my mom was the valedictorian of her class.”
Ross said his father, the elder Edwin Ross, has also helped and inspired him to be a better athlete and man. “While my mom was more on the academic side, my dad was more on the athletic side,” he said. “So any training that I needed, anything that I need to be a better basketball player and track runner, he always helped me with that.”
Ross, who lives in Lake Worth, said he was always expected to do well in school so he could attend college. “It became like a habit to focus on school and put school above everything else.”
Ross’ favorite subject is English because he likes to write and enjoys public speaking. In addition, he is involved with a number of extra curricular activities including being the senior class president, SGA treasurer, as well as being on the Science National Honors Society, National Honors Society, National English Honors Society (treasurer), boys varsity basketball team (captain) and track team (co-captain).
Ross said his biggest accomplishment was getting a sizable jump on college education by taking advantage of a dual-enrollment program.
“Getting my associate’s degree from Palm Beach State College was (significant) because I’ve been taking a full load at Santaluces as well,” he said. “I could have earned this degree in December, but they wouldn’t let me walk because I have to have a high school diploma before I can have a college (degree).”
His biggest challenge is being involved with various activities, as well as academics, and time management.
“Trying to find time for sports as well as trying to find time to study and do all of your work so you can be really good in the classroom (is difficult),” he said. “There are days when I get close to no sleep at all. And that makes it harder to concentrate in class and do well in practice, but I’ve been able to manage it pretty well I think.”
Ross plans on attending Howard University in Washington, D.C., in the fall to study business with a focus on pre-law. He says after that, he will go to law school and aspires to become a corporate attorney.
And one day, he hopes to be in a position where he can give back to the community. “I want to help others in anyway that I can,” he said
What are your hobbies?
Playing basketball and running. I used to collect football cards. I have thousands of those at my house. LeBron James from the Cavaliers (is my favorite athlete) because even though he is the best basketball player in the league, he still gets criticism from everybody. And despite all that, he’s still able to be great and achieve so many things.
What would you do if you were invisible for a day?
I would go to City Hall and sit in on all the meetings that I normally would not be allowed to and see how the city works and get all the information that we normally would not be able to have.
If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be?
Alexander Hamilton. After the hit Broadway musical, I’m completely fascinated (by his story). How he can come up from being an immigrant to being a founding father of the United States? I am completely amazed by him.
What is the best advice you ever received?
One of my basketball coaches used to say, “Always stay humble and hungry.” It’s basically saying no matter how much you achieve, be conscious of your actions and aware of your accomplishments, but always strive for more.
What event in history would you have liked to have witnessed?
Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech because that was one of the most pivotal moments of the Civil Rights Movement ... I would just want to be in the environment and see how it was.
What is your favorite childhood memory?
I remember when I was in second grade. I was like 6 or 7 at the time. My family went to Hawaii. And we were there for a week. So that was a lot of fun.
Who is your hero, someone who inspires you?
I’d have to say my sister, Evelyn, because everything that I’ve done is striving to be like her. Most of the stuff that I’ve done is me trying to be like her, but a little bit better.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
I’ve been playing sports my entire life. I played my first sport when I was 3. Both of my parents are PE teachers, and I was always active and playing a sport.
What three things would you bring with you if you were stuck on a desert island?
A big box of matches so I can always have a fire, a Kindle because I can always have a lot of books and I could have something to read so that I don’t get bored. And a water purifier, so that I could always have a clean supply of water.