Congratulations are in order for a New Orleans teenager accepted to 115 colleges and universities, earning nearly $3.7 million in total scholarships.
Antoinette Love, a graduating senior at the International High School of New Orleans, began applying to schools in September, and before she knew it the 18-year-old said her mailbox was flooded with acceptance letters and dozens of scholarship offers.
Love’s school shared the good news in a Facebook post this week.
“The IHSNO community is so proud of you and your accomplishments!!,” the school wrote, sharing a photo of Love and her parents, Anthony and Yolanda, amid a sea of their daughter’s acceptance letters.
As of Tuesday, Love told the New Orleans Advocate she was still waiting to hear back from 12 more schools.
The college-bound teen plans on visiting schools over the next few weeks and will make her decision by May 1st, according to The Times–Picayune. Love said she plans to major in elementary education and hopes to become a teacher one day.
So exactly how was she able to apply to so many colleges? With the help of her school guidance counselor, the teen was able to find college application fee waivers. Love’s mother said she also used the Common App to apply to multiple schools at once, and the Common Black College Application to apply to 50 historically Black colleges and universities.
“This really is a dream come true,” Love said. “All my hours of studying, writing and classes have paid off in the best possible way, and I can’t wait to move forward and start my college education.”
The road to success came with a few bumps for Love and her family. Born prematurely to teen parents, Love spent much of her time surrounded by four younger siblings she helped raise, the Times-Picayune reported. Her mother said her daughter survived a vicious dog attack at age 2.
Love has maintained a 3.5 high school GPA and is a member of several honor societies, including the National Honor Society, Beta Club and Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honor Society. She also manages to hold down a job while balancing her studies as a dual-enrolled student at a local community college.
School officials describe Love as a “gifted painter” and a “hard-working” scholar who jumped at the chance to help her peers.
Love has made her family more than proud and is the first in her family to attend college. The teen’s mother, Yolanda, said her daughter’s accomplishments have inspired her and her husband to consider going back to school.
“We have so much going on in our lives to where this is that one moment where it’s something good and something positive, not only for our family but for the city, too,” Yolanda Love told The Times-Picayune.