Born with a heart defect, this teen is graduating top of her class with $2.5 million in scholarships

Mildred Europa Taylor June 15, 2023
North Carolina student earns $2.5 million in scholarships. Photo via WCNC Charlotte

Kyanna Woods was born with a heart defect and doctors told her parents that she would have learning disabilities. Today, the Concord teen is graduating at the top of her class with $2.5 million in scholarships.

WCNC Charlotte reports that Woods has been accepted to 61 colleges including Spelman College, Xavier University, the University of South Carolina, and Appalachian State, and she initially had problems deciding which college to choose.

“We were going to the mailbox quite regularly and we get piles of stuff from this school or that school,” William Woods, Kyanna’s father, told the outlet. Becoming the valedictorian at Cabarrus Charter School in Concord didn’t come easy for Woods. Born with two holes in her heart, she had open heart surgery when she was just three months old.

Doctors told her parents that besides having learning disabilities, she would have difficulties walking or playing sports. But Woods didn’t allow these challenges to stop her from aiming high. Today, she is not only doing well academically but also participating in sports. “Many people have called me a miracle child. I accept it with open arms because it is the truth,” said Woods.

According to WCNC Charlotte, Woods has already graduated twice — once from high school and she earned an associate’s degree. She will now be attending Xavier University of Louisiana as a pre-med psychology student on the valedictorian scholarship. The teen believes that without her family and her faith, she wouldn’t have been able to excel.

“They are super important. I love all of them to death,” Woods said. “They are my unwavering cheerleaders when I need the motivation.”

Woods’ incredible story comes as Pennsylvania twins Gianna and Tianna Tout-Puissant who were born prematurely are headed to Harvard. The identical twins, who are both student-athletes and recently graduated from Moravian Academy in Bethlehem, had to overcome health scares during infancy and also suffered serious health problems. 

“To see them and how they’ve blossomed into the young women they are today, it’s like they’re miracle babies,” the girls’ mother, Leah Tout-Puissant, said. 

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: June 15, 2023

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