These Young Women Just Got accepted Into All 8 Ivy League Schools…Like A Badass!

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While the male-female ratio in many sectors largely favors the men, in the world of education women are making great strides and outpacing their male counterparts! A Pew Research Center study from 2014 shows that females are outpacing males in college enrollments, especially in the Hispanic and African-American demographic.

“In 1994, 63% of recent female high school graduates and 61% of male recent high school graduates were enrolled in college in the fall following graduation. By 2012, the share of young women enrolled in college immediately after high school had increased to 71%, but it remained unchanged for young men at 61%,” the study states.

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And just like there are a tonne of initiatives to bring the number of women up in areas where they are lacking, the White House launched a program in Feb 2014 called My Brother’s Keeper to encourage more young black and Hispanic men to follow their female counterparts in university enrollments.

In the meantime the achievements that girls are making are definitely worth celebrating in order to continue encouraging other girls to take advantage of the great education opportunities.

This year, there have been a handful of young women making news for being accepted into not just one, or two, but ALL EIGHT Ivy league schools across the country!

{Disclaimer: an ivy league education isn’t the only type of education that should be seen as worthwhile, and we understand there are many issues concerning student loans and debts which are crippling students around the nation, which Senator Elizabeth Warren is fighting against on behalf of students. While there are a number of options to ensure a high school graduate has a promising future, we recognize that a university education is simply one of those.}

The first is 17 year old Pooja Chandrshekar from Virginia. She attended the Thomas Jefferson School for Science and Technology, got a 4.57 grade-point average, scored a 2390 (out of 2400) on the SAT, and aced all 13 of her Advanced Placement exams.

But that’s just the start. During her high school years she started a non-profit org called ProjectCSGirls to encourage middle-school girls to participate in STEM programs, and she developed a mobile app that analyzes speech patterns and predicts with 96 percent accuracy if a person has Parkinson’s disease. Daaaaang girl!

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So the fact that she has been accepted into all 8 ivy league universities (Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, and Yale University) as well as Stanford, MIT, Duke, the University of Virginia, the University of Michigan and Georgia Tech.

The Washington Post did a feature on Pooja and also saw first hand actual copies of her acceptance into all the aforementioned schools and even confirmed her admission on the phone with some of them.

Pooja, who is the daughter of two immigrant engineers from India, believes her passion for encouraging girls in STEM is what set her apart and got her an overwhelming amount of college acceptances, which she has narrowed down to Harvard, Stanford and Brown for their medical programs.

“I want to encourage diversity in the field,” she said, and made sure to include issues about the STEM fields being male-dominated and her own experience of often being the only girl in her classes.

The second girl is 17 year old Munira Khalif, a senior at Mounds Park Academy in St. Paul, Minnesota. She is the daughter of Somali immigrants, and aside from being a conscientious student is also an activist and spoken word poet. Similar to Pooja, during high school Munira also created her own non-profit organization. We’re beginning to see a pattern here…

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Munira’s organization is called Lighting the Way, which helps East African diaspora youth empower their counterparts in the Horn of Africa by making education accessible. The organization has raised about $30,000 to provide scholarships and tackle sanitation issues. Her list of extra-curricular activities and involvements is more impressive than most adult resumes we have seen!

According to a feature interview in the Star Tribune, MN, Munira is a global youth ambassador for A World At School, a campaign focused on ensuring universal education, and she also founded a Social Consciousness Club, a platform for students to discuss domestic and international issues, such as hunger in America and foreign aid. But it doesn’t end there, Munira is also a teen adviser for United Nation’s Girl Up Campaign and has written letters to congress to support legislation that would end child marriage around the world.

In 2013 the United Nations invited Munira and other teen activists to their headquarters for Malala day, honoring the Pakistani teen and world revolutionary who has been championing the cause of girls’ education worldwide. Munira got to perform one of her spoken word poetry pieces, which she described as the highlight of her high school career.

Her activist spirit comes from being from a family that fled Somalia during the 1992 civil war. Her parents were adamant that their daughters would have education opportunities which Munira wants to take full advantage of.

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“The sheer ripple effect of educating a girl is huge, especially in developing countries. Having parents who fled from civil war changes your entire perspective. That makes you realize the opportunities you have in the United States and use those to its fullest extent,” she said.

She believes her acceptance into all 8 ivy league schools plus a handful of others wasn’t just based on her high school grades.

“You’re not accepted because of a score you’re accepted because of the person that you are,” she told a local news station, and its easy to see how this young woman is walking the talk in monumental ways which will continue to change the world.

It seems the theme of beating adversity is a common thread amongst many of these high-achievers, and is also evident in this next young woman, Daria Rose, who was accepted into 7 ivy league schools. Notice we didn’t say “only 7” because there is no diminishing what she has achieved.

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Daria and her family live in Long Island and were caught in the middle of Hurricane Sandy in 2012 which devastated the East Coast and has gone on record as the costliest hurricane in US history. The Rose family evacuated their house and let all their possessions behind while Hurricane Sandy and then a house fire obliterated everything they owned.

They moved from hotel to hotel, and stayed with extended family, all while Daria tried to focus on finishing school without her grades being affected. Her admissions essays included her experience with Hurricane Sandy and what her family went through which made for a compelling story. In the end she was accepted into 14 schools total, half of which are Ivy league. It should be noted, that she didn’t even apply for the 8th Ivy League school Columbia, which means if she did, there is no doubt in our minds she would’ve gotten all 8.

“I was like, oh my God, I just got into Harvard. Then I checked Princeton, and I was like, oh my God I, just got into Princeton. And I checked Brown, I got in. It just kept going and going,” she told ABC News. Her persistence despite going through a harrowing ordeal (hey, high school is tough enough without the added difficulty of not having a house to live in and having all your possessions taken away) is certainly paying off, and Daria recognizes the importance of not giving up.

“After moving so much and meeting so many different people, I learned I can adapt and adjust to all these different situations and people. You just never really think it can happen to you,” she said.

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We love seeing this diverse group of women who have each faced their own battles use that to their advantage and create an incredible future for themselves. The final young woman we want to mention here, 17-year-old Trinh Troung from New York, is certainly no different.

Trinh was born in Vietnam, and moved to the US as a refugee with her single mother when she was 3. She is a senior at Thomas R. Proctor High School and has just been given scholarships to all 13 universities she applied to, 5 of which were Ivy League schools (Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth, Columbia and Brown).

“I came to America with my mother as a refugee in 2001 from Vietnam and she has really always driven into me educational values and just making sure that honestly, if I didn’t work hard in school I would probably not get very far in life,” she told her local news station WKTV.

And work hard she did. Trinh helped establish the city’s first Youth Common Council, is a board member of the American Civil Rights Council and she has secured an internship with State Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi D-Utica, all while maintaining a 4.0, grade point average.

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“Statistically I was not suppose to succeed coming from such an adverse background. I’ve really made it a point to create opportunities if they weren’t there for me. It wasn’t like ‘woe is me,’ it was kind of like ‘you want this go get it’,” she said.

Trinh is extremely grateful for the sacrifices her mother made, who often worked 4 jobs to pay for her education. When she was younger she would tell her teachers she wanted to be the President of the United States, and while that ambition has changed slightly, she still has her sights set on politics, becoming the Secretary of State.

“In that position hopefully I’ll make policy decisions that positively resolve conflict around the world and make it so that families like mine don’t have to leave countries because of poverty, war or famine,” she said.

Reading about these incredible women leaves us in awe. We know the statistics, but it is after college that the drop off in female numbers starts to happen in certain sectors. However, the more we share these stories, the more girls will be encouraged to follow in their footsteps and know that anything is possible. This is the generation of girls who are going to change their communities for the better (and clearly already are!) but as some have stated, they want to use their education to change the world also.

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Around the world, it is estimated 62 million girls are currently out of school, and two thirds of the world’s illiterate are women. While a number of factors such as poverty, child marriage and cultural boundaries have become common denominators in preventing many girls from getting access to education, when they do, it changes things drastically.

An extra year of secondary schooling can increase a girl’s earning potential by 15-20%, and an increase of only 1% in girls secondary education attendance can increase a country’s GDP by 0.3%. These are the numbers we need to change!

Just because the aforementioned girls are from the US, it doesn’t mean they necessarily have it easy or don’t have to worry about the plight of girls in the developing world. As you read their passion to share their opportunities with others, we are seeing an incredible movement of the younger generation recognizing more than any other previous generation the direct impact their life can have on that of another person simply by speaking up and taking action.

We hope as this school year draws to a close, you will be inspired by this handful of young women, and know that each one of us has the potential to be great, despite any difficult circumstances or challenges we face.

GIRLS-EDUCATION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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