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Monday, April 15, 2024

Young teenage girl graduates US high school and university at the same time, wins full scholarship

A teenage girl named Yessenia Martin has achieved the exceptional feat of graduating from the university and high school simultaneously. She was also awarded a full scholarship to further her studies.

Martin, a teen earned her diploma and associate’s degree from Arlington Collegiate High School and Arlington College and Career High School in the United States. She graduated as the valedictorian of her set.

She won the prestigious Gates scholarship to study for her bachelor’s degree at any university of her choice. She was one of the 750 scholars selected out of 51,000 students who applied for the scholarship.

The process includes an online application, essays, recommendations, and interviews before the scholarships are awarded. Martin is also making history as the first-ever college graduate in her family.

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“It was very unexpected. It was a really competitive scholarship. What are the odds of me getting it? It gives me the freedom to go to the school I desire vs. choosing based on money,” she said.

She credits her parents for their sacrifices for her so that he can focus on school adding that she set high expectations for herself because of their work ethic which would continue when she gets to the university. 

My dad inspires me the most. He came to a country where he didn’t know anyone and didn’t know anything and built up from there. He works from sunrise to sunset to provide for his family,” Martin said.

 

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”All the sacrifices he’s done for me, that’s why I always had high expectations for myself so I can make him proud. He hasn’t been able to see his family for more than 20 years,” she added.

Martin said she will be attending the University of Texas, Austin in the United States where she wants to major in Computer Science.”UT-Austin was my first choice and when I heard I got the scholarship, I was going to UT-Austin,” she said.

She stated that she initially planned to go to the University of Texas at Dallas, where she had a full scholarship but winning the Gates Scholarship opened the chance to go to Austin which is her dream school.

She added that she has plans to get her master’s degree later on and also wants to make an impact by helping minorities and letting them know they can get to higher education and join the STEM field, especially women.

”There aren’t a lot of women pursuing engineering and computer science. I want women to do that, especially in developing countries. There women have little to no power. Getting the opportunity to program opens many opportunities, not only in the jobs but in a broader way,” she said.

Martin said her dream is to start her non-profit organization to help women learn how to program in other countries. She stated that Girls Inc. of Tarrant County inspired her to start her non-profit and also give back to the community and pursue the STEM field.

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