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Thursday, July 18, 2024

18-year-old African-American girl emerges US high school best student, gains admission to 72 universities

18-year-old Ja’Leaha Thornton emerged as the best graduating of Glades Central Community High School in the  United States and was accepted into 72 universities across the states.

Thornton is a teen from Belle Glade who graduated from Glades Central Community High School in the United States with the highest grade point in her class making her the school valedictorian.

Her outstanding performance earned her acceptance from 72 colleges and universities across the United States. Thornton told GMA that she applied to 90 colleges and universities which she did early.

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“I know the process of applying could be kind of overwhelming to many, and instead of stressing myself out, I decided to make it a competition and see how many I can get into. I wanted to broaden my horizons and explore some different schools outside of my state,” she said.

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Thorton said she used the Common Black College Application to submit applications to multiple colleges simultaneously. “At most, I spent $20 because I did the Black Common App and also the Common App, and I was able to use my fee waivers,” she said.

She mentioned that she was eyeing several colleges and in the beginning, Howard University in Washington, D.C. was her dream school. But later on, she chose to attend Xavier University of Louisiana, a historically Black university in New Orleans.

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“I was nervous about opening the letter because like, this is one of the top schools, and I already made a mistake with sending the wrong college essay. And when I opened the letter and actually got accepted,” Thorton said.


”I was like, ‘Wow, like this is option for me now. I’m not only considering Howard or UF, but I also have this school and I have options.’ So it was very exciting,” she added. 

Thorton plans on majoring in pre-medical psychology and minoring in chemistry at the university. She added that she also hopes to study abroad in Asia and go to medical school after college.

She expressed her gratitude to all those who have supported her from the beginning of her academic journey till this far. She thanked her school family, her guidance counselor, her teachers, and friends.

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“I just wanted to make sure I give special shoutouts to my family, especially my mom, my great-grandmother, my grandmother, and my uncle. They have been a solid foundation for me. I believe in the saying ‘It takes a village to build a child,’ and that was my village,” she said.

Advising other high school students who are applying to college, Thorton stated that they should always push forward and never allow anything to stop them from achieving their goals.

“Shoot beyond the sky, because it’s a world out there, and it has so much for us to explore, so don’t limit ourselves. Go beyond what’s in front of you and don’t take advantage of time. Use your resources and your opportunity,” she said.



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