Four students have been recognized by the Toronto District School Board as “top scholars” after achieving averages of at least 99 per cent.

Speaking at a ceremony held Thursday, the students all shared a similar philosophy.

“If you can do it why not do it. It’s possible so why not push yourself to achieve it,” said Cedarbrae Collegiate Institute student Khalesah Alli.

Alli said that her final grade was the result of “a lot of hard work, a lot of late nights and a lot of all-nighters to be honest”.

Hshmat Sahak has a perfect 100 percent average from Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute.

“I’ve never pushed for getting a 100 percent I’ve just pursued my passions, followed my interests and gotten involved in the community and the marks naturally followed.”

Sahak said that as a son of Afghan immigrants, his past drives him to work harder.

“I know their story, I know they come from a war torn country and they’ve sacrificed everything for me, so I feel myself that it’s a personal debt that I have to repay.”

For Bloor Collegiate Institute student Elin Liu, balancing school work and fun was very important.

“It feels like I don’t have a lot of free time sometimes, but I really like being on our schools robotics team,” Liu said. “I play badminton where I was our school’s coach and captain...I also tutor in my free time, which doesn’t sound like fun, but I really enjoy it.”

Saranya Jeyakhanthan from Victoria Park Collegiate Institute was moved to tears when she received a personal email message from her hero in Engineering, Avery Bang at Thursday’s press conference.

“I’ve looked up to her for so, so long. She’s one of my inspirations for going into civil engineering, so that was huge for me.

Coincidentally, engineering seems to be the field of choice for all of these bright young students.

When asked to share some advice for other high school students, Liu said “just go for it.”

“Just put in the effort, just go for it and give it your all, because you’ll really enjoy the product if you put in the effort.”