Dana Bolden, a high school senior, has already secured almost $1.4 million in college scholarships just two months into the school year. The 17-year-old Jim Hill High School student revealed that she began thinking about which universities and scholarships to apply to throughout the summer and began the process when the fall semester began in early August.
Bolden told Good Morning America, “Once school started, I just decided to go ahead and knock it out and start applying to a bunch of schools. I didn’t think that I would get to this point of $1.4 million in scholarships, but I’m very grateful that I am and I’m very grateful that I have the opportunity to get this far.”
According to her, she was inspired to apply to multiple schools and scholarships after seeing a fellow student earn over $1 million in scholarships her sophomore year.
An academic advisor at her school, Frank Branch, said that Bolden’s achievement is quite exceptional. “Every year, we normally would have $1 million, $2 million or $3 million babies, as we call them. But this is the first time that we’ve had anyone achieve over a million dollars in September,” Branch said. “Normally, this will happen in January, so I’m very proud of Dana.”
The teen, who is actively involved in speech and debate, the Jim Hill High School Marching Band, and student government, gave credit to her mentors, particularly Principal Bobby Brown of Jim Hill High School, for assisting her in achieving her daunting goals.
Brown, the school’s principal, said of her, “I think the work that Dana has put into this process has been simply and truly amazing. There are some great academic things happening here at Jim Hill High School, and Dana exemplifies what we consider to be a profile of a Jim Hill High School and Jackson Public Schools graduate.”
Bolden, who submitted applications to more than 60 universities and over 80 scholarships, has obtained approvals from 34 of them. In addition, she anticipates hearing from other universities later in the year.
She listed Duke University as her favorite university, stating that she intends to study biology and work toward becoming a trauma surgeon.
The young achiever advised, “A lot of my classmates put off applying to college because they think that they’re not good enough to get in, or they don’t think that they’ll meet the standards that they’ve set for themselves, but I feel like all you have to do is sit down, make this list, apply to colleges. You never know where you’ll end up.”