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Delray Beach high school integrated nearly 60 years ago

Posted at 4:28 PM, Feb 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-28 04:08:04-05

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — DELRAY BEACH, Fla.-- It’s been nearly 60 years since schools in Palm Beach County were desegregated.

In 1961 a picture was taken of a 15-year-old student leaving Seacrest High school in Delray Beach. Yvonne Lee Odom was the first African-American student to attend the high school.

“As a 15-year-old, I was simply just going to school like everybody else,” said Odom.

She said when she was 15 she did not realize the historical impact of her first day at Seacrest High.

“One thing I did have on my mind that I said to myself, 'If I am going to integrate, I am going to integrate.' So, I went to everything the school had, I even ran for school office,” she said.

Odom was recognized by the Boynton Beach City Commission last week. She taught in Delray for 45 years and said she instilled her experience into her teaching.

“When kids are given a circumstance when they have no control, they have to do that self talk to say: ‘I can do this.’”

She also said she never wanted to disappoint her father and teaches children the same thing.

“Find somebody you don't want to disappoint. You know it could be your grandma or auntie or teacher, but if you live your life that you don't want to disappoint somebody you will do the right thing.”