A Westlake High School senior has received acceptance letters from over 50 colleges and over $1.3 million in scholarships. Daya Brown, who has been a member of the Harvard Diversity Project and was student council president during high school, said her goal was to ultimately not pay for college.
She explained that she got this far with her scholarship and college applications because she began the process very early. “I started that process during my sophomore year, started listing out every college that I wanted to go to.”
“I was already looking at scholarships. In each quarter, I’m writing down a different goal,” she told 11Alive.com. “Colleges have made it so easy. You have virtual visits. Go to those visits, make sure you do your research.”
Dedicating three hours a day to applications, over nearly four months, Brown further indicated that “colleges love the uniqueness about applications.”
“Sign up for those internships and go apply for that job. Go to that volunteer experience because they want to see who you are as a person,” she advised.
There were tough times along the way for Brown, but she overcame all those challenges and sought help financially when necessary. She said pain became her inspiration. “Black people were once in a point where education was not an option. And I think with this accomplishment specifically, it has really made me like think I am my ancestors’ wildest dreams.”
Besides academic work, Brown has her own production company, with a nonprofit podcast called The Scholar Social, which teaches teenagers what is going on in the world, but in a creative way, she explained. “I think simple conversations is our way to showcase our voice in this generation.”
Brown’s parents, particularly, her mom are proud of her achievements. At the moment, she plans to attend Duke University, where she will study production or journalism. She chose those two because she really loves telling stories and impacting people, the Atlanta teen said.
“It’s all about how I make people feel. I don’t care if you remember my name, it doesn’t matter how many accomplishments I have. At the end of the day if I impacted you, that’s all that matters,” Brown said.