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Santa Ana high school student accepted to 15 universities

Brandy Figueroa, a Santa Ana high school senior, was accepted not only into her dream school but 14 others, among them: Harvard University, Columbia University, Stanford, Duke, and several UC’s.

The 17-year-old will be graduating with a GPA of 4.7, which puts her in the top one percent of her class at Segerstrom High School.

Figueroa said she doesn’t believe just her academics got her into so many colleges, she’s involved in nearly a dozen clubs, ranging from Latino leadership groups to environmental clubs. The Santa Ana native also tutors, plays tennis, and is involved in student government.

“I didn’t think I was going to get into any of the top colleges because I had been waitlisted and rejected a couple days before and also day of,” Figueroa said. “So, I was like, there’s no way I could get into Harvard or anything like that.”

Figueroa received acceptance letters to: Brown, Columbia, Stanford, Duke, and Harvard, in addition to San Francisco State, Sacramento State, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, San Diego State, UC Los Angeles, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, UC Santa Cruz, Washington University in St. Louis, and the University of San Francisco. 

This came as no surprise to Figueroa’s parents, who named their Santa Ana wood-making business after their daughter. They brought all their four children to the shop to teach them about hard work, but they say they wanted them to achieve more.

“I told them, what you going to do, you want to be here with me or do you want to study?” said Jose Figueroa who immigrated to the United States from Mexico. “Brandy, I always know, she was very smart, since she was a little kid. She was very curious.”

That curiosity led Figueroa to join all kinds of clubs and organizations. She said that’s where she found her passion of helping others.

“I want to become a constitutional lawyer and go into government,” said Figueroa. “It has to do with the fact that I want to help others and represent them hopefully and just to be able to create an impact of at least one person.”

No one around Figueroa doubts she will achieve that no matter which school she chooses.

“I didn’t think I was going to get into Harvard so my dream school was Columbia and I honestly think I’m preferring Harvard now, so I think I might go there instead,” Figueroa said.

Figueroa says she got a full scholarship to Harvard University and will have to make her decision by May 1 on what school she will be attending in the fall.

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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