As a high school senior Roberta Hannah knew she wanted to focus her studies on two things — biochemistry and African-American studies.
The Massachusetts girl’s ambitions: to make medicine more accessible and affordable.
“So my goal is to be a medicinal chemist, but with making medicine and kind of the one researching it,” Hannah told Western Mass News Monday. “I want my focus to be on increasing accessibility and making the medicine more affordable.”
But first the Springfield High School of Science of Technology graduate had to make a decision. Which of the eight Ivy League schools should she attend? The question became very surreal for Hannah after she was accepted into all eight of the elite schools.
“Originally, I was only going to apply to three, but then my mom and my sister were like, ‘You should just apply to all eight,’ so I didn’t really have a choice,” Hannah told the outlet.
She knew her chances of getting into at least four of the Ivy League schools were high, but on March 26, the traditional Ivy Day, it was all a guarantee.
“I was really anxious getting up to the day, and then I started opening the letters, and I was like, oh, I keep seeing ‘yes,’” she said.
As for her choice, Hannah announced that she would be attending Columbia University in the fall. It was a choice that Hannah’s mother, Valerie Williams, felt had already been in the making.
“I just knew because it is my child, and I know her gifts, and I basically made her apply to all the schools,” Williams said.
Hannah said her mother and sister were major influences behind her achievements.
“I think because of the fact my mom didn’t go to college, she always pushed us a little extra hard,” Hannah said.
But it would not have happened without hard work, dedication and “A lot of studying,” Hannah said. “Last year, I took four AP classes, but up until then, I was mostly in honors classes or pre-AP, and so last year, I took four AP classes, and this year I’m taking seven AP exams.”