Inspired by her grandfather, James Freeman, Autumn Street has made it her mission to make something of herself through a strong work ethic that is also rooted in a desire to be helpful, and never stop trying her best in everything she does. And it appears that has paid off.
Street has been named Bridgehampton School’s salutatorian, graduating with a weighted grade point average of 94.5. A lifetime Bridgehampton School student, Ms. Street will be heading to Washington D.C. to attend Howard University this fall.
“I’ve been working toward this goal ever since I was in elementary school. Education has always been my top priority and everything else falls behind it,” says Street. “To me, being salutatorian was a reward for all my hard work throughout the years and for once I can finally say I’m proud of myself about something I’ve accomplished. This also is motivation for me to continue succeeding and to never stop working hard because it’ll all be worth it in the long run.”
Moving to Washington D.C. will be a significant change for the girl who grew up in the small, tight-knit hamlet of Bridgehampton — with a year-round population that is smaller than the 6,000 undergraduates matriculating at Howard University. “I am beyond ready for change. I’ve lived in little Bridgehampton for almost all of my life,” says Street. “Howard University is a place that I am eagerly looking forward to.”
Street says she is ready to expand her horizons, and is ready to be a part of a more diverse community.
“Living here in the Hamptons, I’ve been a part of various different things ranging from sports to music and I’ve noticed quite a few times that I was the only black person present,” she said. “After a while of this constantly happening, you begin to feel out of place and as if you stick out like a sore thumb.”
During the next four years, she’ll have the opportunity to interact with people from vastly different backgrounds in one of the most diverse regions in the country. “Luckily for me, Howard is a historically black university that has thousands of students from across the country and the world all with different passions, hobbies, interests, and ideologies,” says Street. “Once I go there for my first semester I just know for a fact that I’ll finally have a sense of belonging, something that I’ve been missing for a while out here.”
This past fall, Street was nominated for the Daughters of the American Revolution’s (DAR) Good Citizen Award. The award is to recognize and reward students who possess the qualities of dependability, service, leadership and patriotism in their homes, schools and communities. She received $1,000 from the organization.
“I’m very thankful to have been chosen as one of the few students out here to receive this award because it’s a reminder that hard work and dedication to one’s work and their community will always result in positive outcomes.”
Her involvement in activities, clubs and volunteer work has been extensive. Street was a member of the Tewa-Marimba band, played on the varsity Pierson-Bridgehampton field hockey team and was elected vice president of HampTeens just to name a few. “I love being able to take what I’ve learned or obtained to help others in need so I definitely plan on being a part of various community give-back programs once I’m in D.C.,” says Street.
The final message that she left for her fellow graduates was one of pride and joy. “Our futures are very bright and there is so much out there that’s just waiting for us; it’s up to you to go out and get it,” she planned to tell students at the Bridgehampton School at commencement last Sunday.