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Homestead Sr. High student who shines becomes inspiration to her classmates

Homestead Sr. High student who shines becomes inspiration to her classmates
Homestead Sr. High student who shines becomes inspiration to her classmates 02:27

HOMESTEAD — Janiya Baker considers herself to be a modest student.

"I am a very humble person," she said. "I like to cheer and I like fashion."

But one thing Baker left out is that she is making history in Miami-Dade County by becoming the first student to jump from ninth grade to 12th in one year.

"She said, 'Mom, I just want to be a senior. I want to finish and I want to put my foot in the ground. I want to be known as Janiya Baker: The girl who went from nine to 12 in one year,'" said Baker's mother Jasmine Gary.

And she is definitely making her name known. At 16 years old, Baker is not only a senior at Homestead Senior High School -- she also holds the highest GPA in her class.

"My education is very important to me," she said. "It comes before any activity. If my education isn't right, I'm not doing anything else."

Well, she is definitely doing everything right. Baker's mom said ever since she was born, she was way beyond her age.

"Since Janiya was like seven months, I noticed she was very advanced," Gary said. "She was off the bottle at seven months and was walking early. She was talking, she was saying sentences very early -- I said to myself: 'This girl is very accelerated.'"

So what was Mom's reaction when her brilliant, little girl told her she was ready to be a senior?

"I was like, 'Let's do it! You're smart enough, you've exemplified that you can do this," she said. "You're an example. You're definitely a leader to your peers and there's no one like you, and I love that about you. Do your thing, girl.'"

So how did Baker achieve this major accomplishment? She said a lot of hard work, dedication, determination and much support.

"My peers let me know that they're very inspired and that I am an inspiration to them and their younger siblings that they want to do the same," she said.

"She represents her family very well, and we're proud of her," Gary said. "We're proud that she made history. She is continuing to make history. She's everywhere all over the world and we're proud of her."

Baker said she would like to attend FIU and major in business. Her goal is to be an entrepreneur and have her own fashion line.

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