Charlotte graduate didn’t miss a second of her 18,720 hours at school

On Friday, a student graduating from Northside Christian Academy will have a finish with a distinction that isn’t too common. In 13 years, she’s never missed a day of school.

This energetic scholar is Akiya Phillips, and her accomplishment is something she’s planning for a long time.

“I am the fourth generation to graduate with this honor,” Phillips said.

Just to break it down in numbers, that 13 years in school time equals 18,720 hours in the class and a total of 2,340 days of school.

Along with her regular academic work, Phillips has served as student body president and vice president of the National Honor Society. She's an A honor roll student, captain and most valuable player of both the varsity volleyball team and varsity basketball team, member of the Spanish Honor Society, and homecoming queen. She earned the highest average in English and history and was named outstanding senior.

Those are just a few of her achievements. Last year, she also laid the wreathe on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.

However, Phillips does admit there were times when it was a struggle to get to class.

“I had to remember the goal that I had set, and this did make it a little easier to go.”

Phillips didn’t just show up every day. She finished high school with a 3.85 GPA.

“I loved the fact that I was able to interact with my teachers on a personal level,” she said. “Going to school and being encouraged really made my days a lot brighter.”

She has been accepted in the Hunt School of Nursing at Gardner-Webb University and plans to pursue a degree in nursing and later earn her master's degree to become a neonatal nurse practitioner.

Phillips advised students to never give up and stay focused on the end prize — no matter how exhausted they get.

“There will be days that you may feel like you can’t make it, but push yourself to get out of bed and just do it. Every day is a day to learn something new,” she said.

With her unmistakable passion for learning and achieving her goals, there is little doubt that Phillips will reach her full potential.

If you have an inspiring story to share, email Kevin Campbell, WSOC-TV/WAXN-TV/Telemundo Charlotte public affairs manager, at