There were days when Esther Fadumiye didn't feel like going to school, but she always did.
"My mom always says, 'Wa na kil fa in,' which means in like, normal language, 'What does not kill will only make you stronger.' So, as long as school is not hurting you, you're going," she said.
So off she went, day after day, month after month, year after year, never missing a day from kindergarten at the Holy Rosary School through her senior year at Cardinal Spellman High in the Bronx.
"I'm raised by two immigrant parents. My mom's Jamaican, my dad's Nigerian. So they just instilled the values of hard work and like, coming to places on time, coming to school on time," Esther said.
On Friday, Esther joined other outstanding students honored at Cardinal Spellman's Senior Convocation.
Dean of Students Jeri Faulkner says she once asked Esther about her Iron Woman streak.
"She said, 'Miss Faulkner, you know it's that thing that they say for the U.S. Postal Service? My mother believes that. So through snow or sleet and wind and rain, I went to school every day," Faulkner said.
It's not just Esther's attendance record that is stellar. She's also her class valedictorian with a grade point average that's more than perfect, 100.3.
"Knowing Esther as a student and as a young woman, that just exemplifies everything she's given to her academics, and it explains why she's gone as far as she has already," said Kyle O'Donnell, assistant principal for academics at Cardinal Spellman High School.
Now, Esther is moving on to the next level, where she's planing to major in the physical sciences.
"I want to keep a little bit private, but I would just say I'm going to an Ivy League, a good school," she said.
After graduation on Saturday, Esther is off to college at that very good school that she won't name. Where she says shes going to stick to the formula that's gotten her this far - perfect attendance.