Best of Brooklyn: Nermina Markisic
St. Francis College's winter valedictorian has been announced, and it is a student who boasts a lot more than good grades.
Nermina Markisic is the daughter of Bosnian refugees and is now at the top of her class at St. Francis College.
"They said congratulations, you're valedictorian,” says Markisic.
It happened that fast. Hours after the deadline for nominees to respond, Markisic was crowned valedictorian. Immediately after, she called her dad.
"Everything I do is on behalf of my family. I want to make them proud more than anything else in the world. Just because I know what it took to get here,” says Markisic.
Markisic's parents came to the United States from Bosnia in 1995, fleeing one of history's worst atrocities.
"They left the country and their friends and their family and everyone,” says Markisic.
Everyone and everything they held dear was left behind, all to arrive in a foreign country with next to nothing.
"We didn't have money or clothing - anything to our name,” says Markisic.
She says what they did have was hope for a brighter future.
"Everything I do is for them. Just so they don't feel like their suffering and the ethnic cleaning, the genocide that their country went through was for nothing. I made it here,” she says.
Now that she's made it here, Markisic wants to help out back in Bosnia.
"I want to help the people, fix the economy, fix the social structure, the political corruption. I want to be someone who contributes,” says Markisic.