So many choices to choose from…

A young woman from Atlanta has assembled quite the academic portfolio.

Daya Brown, a high school senior, has been offered more than $1.3 million in cumulative scholarships on her way to be accepted to over 50 colleges spread all across America.

There’s only one Daya Brown, though, so in the end, she could only choose to attend one school. What did Daya do that made her such an eligible young scholar, though?

Daya Brown Started Planning for College Years Before Applying

high school scholarships
Farrah Brown/Facebook

In a post shared on Facebook and viewed thousands of times, Daya Brown’s mother, Farrah, says she tells her children to have one job and that is to “take their education seriously and to be well rounded and advocate for themselves.”

The “super proud mom” says Daya has understood the assignment for sure.” And we’d have to agree.

Daya was working hard at her “job” of excelling at studies, taking on plenty of extracurriculars, and actively planning for college applications years before it would actually come time to apply.

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In regard to her impressive college acceptances, Daya said she started her process in quarantine during her sophomore year. “I started to curate a list of schools that had certain majors or were great in what I wanted to study which was mass communications or film,” she said. “Once I had that list, it all came down to doing those extracurricular activities, because I think a lot of the times students don’t understand that you have to be more than just a student.”

While ensuring she kept her grades up, Daya also got involved with writing poetry, prose, and film production — which she saw as a potential future career. She went so far as to form her own production company through which she tried to inspire and support other young media producers.

“That was my chance to showcase who I was as a person and who I was as a scholar,” Daya said. “I think a lot of people think that if you’re smart, you can’t be cool. So I found a way to showcase brilliance [and] still have fun while you’re doing it.”

Daya was not alone in her efforts to mold herself, either. She and her family described it all as a “village effort,” with everyone from her parents, grandma, and her brother helping her along the way.

The Applications Followed by the Acceptances and Offers

Typically, high schoolers hoping to go on to college apply to a handful of schools. Most have their longshot dream school, a bunch of middle-ground choices, and the slightly disdainfully named “safety school.”

Daya cast a wider net than that, though. She applied to dozens and dozens of schools, often spending several hours each day, day after day, thoroughly completing applications.

Her hard work more than paid off — both the actual applications and all the years spent applying herself in school work and in life. Daya would be offered a spot at a staggering 50-plus colleges and universities, and if all the scholarships she was offered were totaled, they would amount to more than $1.3 million.

Of course, Daya had to choose just one school, and she settled on Duke University.

In fact, even after all that work, the choice wasn’t all that hard for this young scholar. “When we stepped foot on Duke’s campus, I honestly had the feeling at that very moment… a sense of home,” she said. “I was welcomed by so many amazing Black students who look just like me, who have the same dreams and aspirations as me as well.”

She had found her new village.