After having graduated with a 5.1 grade point average (gpa) on a 4.0 scale from Kenwood Academy, former valedictorian Arianna Alexander has been accepted into 26 colleges, totaling more than $3 million in scholarship offers. Her plans are to study business at the University of Pennsylvania.
“It was a lot to take in. I received emails, letters. They were bombarding me with all this information,” said the teen, who hails from Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. “I feel like it means I can afford college and I don’t have to worry about it. I feel like that’s an issue for a lot of people my age,” Arianna said.
While a majority of students fight to earn a slot in the actual college they prefer, Arianna Alexander has been able to make a choice of several universities, including six Ivy League institutions. The youngest of four children, Arianna expressed, “I had a plan and I stuck to it. There were many obstacles in my way and quite frankly, there were times when even I did not think that I would make it. However, I reminded myself that I have people who love and support me no matter if I stumble or even fall a few times.”
Arianna’s father, Pierre Alexander said that he and his wife have for years instilled the importance of education to each of the children. Therefore after a Kenwood graduate earned $1 million dollars in scholarships, a few years ago Mr. Alexander encouraged his daughter to apply for $3 million, instead. “I planted the seed in Arianna’s mind that you can do the same thing. So when the process got started and a million was achieved, [I said] let’s go for two. [Then] I said let’s go for three and she did it. It was a big blessing, because I’ve already put three through college. Now I don’t have to worry too much about her. It has been a long process and we are delighted.”
Kenwood principal, Dr. Gregory Jones, was quite impressed with his student, and remarked on her hard earned successes. “In total, the class of 2015 has received $40 million dollars in scholarships. That is among a graduating class of 360 students,” said Jones. “I’m extremely happy for the students and their families.”