HAZELWOOD, Mo. – Choosing where to go to college can be a tough decision, but it might be particularly hard for a senior from Hazelwood West.
Gracemary Nganga has received acceptance letters from 22 schools.
“I just really wanted options when it came to school and to make sure I could compare things like aid, support, resources, and I applied to a variety of different schools,” she said.
So, which schools? The list includes: Stanford, Yale, Washington University, Notre Dame, Emory, Oxford College of Emory, USC, Duke, Spelman College, Xavier in Louisiana, Franklin and Marshall, Pomona, Claremont McKenna, Hamilton, Swarthmore, Bowdoin, Grinnell, Saint Louis University, UMKC, Mizzou, DePaul, and UMSL.
She was also put on the wait list for Dartmouth and Vanderbilt.
According to a press release from Hazelwood West, Nganga said she’s narrowed her list down to five schools and she’ll visit some of her top choices in April before making a final decision May 1.
“Obviously the academics at all of these schools are amazing,” she said. “I’d be surrounded by brilliant students and professors who have done so much in their fields, so now it’s about finding the community and finding where I belong.”
A spokesperson for the Hazelwood School District said, “It seems Nganga would be a natural fit at any of the 22 schools, having excelled throughout her academic career in the Hazelwood School District since emigrating from Kenya with her family before the second grade.””She is the true definition of a student leader, having started the African American Cultural Association at West High School, along with two separate student clubs focused on social justice and awareness.”
“It was a lot to take in because it’s very surreal,” Nganga said. “It’s something you dream about and just having that goal of being accepted into top universities, and for me to actually get there and be accepted and have them want me there, it’s a dream come true.”