Paytyn Cornor remembers seeing the Dux Litterarum being awarded at a Whanganui City College prizegiving when she was in Year 9.
She immediately made it her goal to follow suit, envisioning herself receiving the acknowledgement onstage in the City College hall.
More commonly referred to as the Dux, the title is bestowed upon the highest achieving student at most secondary schools in New Zealand and Australia.
Last week Cornor's vision became reality and her dream came to fruition.
"You don't always think you're going to get something like this, but you have that little voice in the back of your head hoping that you do," Cornor said.
"It just rewards you for how hard you've been working throughout the year and it's a good opportunity for others to see where hard work can get you."
Cornor was born and raised in Whanganui. She went to Whanganui Intermediate School and will continue studying now that her time at City College has concluded.
"I've loved City College. Coming to school every day, the teachers have been really nice and it's just been the best experience," Cornor said.
"Next year I'm going down to the University of Otago to study health science. I love science, it's a passion of mine. I'm a problem solver."
She praised all of her teachers for their help throughout the year in maths, chemistry, biology, English and economics.
Cornor's main inspiration is her mum Cadena Tuwhangai.
"She's always got things to do, she overcomes any obstacles and gets them done to the best of her ability.
"She put my achievement up on Facebook and there were so many congratulations, some from people I haven't talked to in years."
Being deputy head girl of the school, participating in Wero Day and being a role model to the younger students were Cornor's other highlights for the year.
"I just wanted to show the younger kids that all is overcome by working," she said.
"There are not many role models in some peoples lives, so I wanted to be one for some people that don't have them."
The Whanganui City College leaders for 2019 will be announced at the start of next year and the Chronicle will catch up with them after they are named.