Miami-Dade County Public Schools
Ashley Adirika applied not to one, but to all eight Ivy League schools her senior year of high school.
Adirika told CNN that when Ivy Day finally came around on March 31, she sat at her computer with a tab open for each school. The Florida teen and her family watched with delight as all eight revealed the same message: accepted.
The chances of being accepted into one Ivy League university is about three to eight percent.
"I just decided to shoot my shot at all of them and see if it would land. And I had no idea that I would get accepted into all of them," Adirika told the outlet. "On Ivy Day, I remember crying a lot and just being extremely surprised."
Adirika, who graduated from Miami Beach Senior High School earlier this month, was also accepted to seven other top schools, including Stanford, Vanderbilt, and Emory.
"It was surreal," she told the Miami Herald. "It felt amazing to know the work that I put into my educational journey was paying off and to see [colleges] recognize that."
It's a fitting end to a high school career that included debate team and a position as student council president. Adirika also started Our Story Our Worth, an organization that provides mentorship to girls and young women of color.
Adirika told CNN that she has the women in her life to thank for her work ethic. Chief among them is her mother, a single mom to five children who emigrated from Nigeria to the United States 30 years ago.
"She has just instilled in me the value of education and working hard, as well as all of the strong women in my life, like my older sisters," she said. "For me, it's about making the most of the opportunities that I have at my fingertips and really just making sure that the sacrifices that have been made for me weren't done in vain."
In the end Adirika chose Harvard, where she plans to major in government this fall. She told CNN that her goal is to learn how policies can help fix economic disparities in communities. Ultimately, she plans to go to law school.