By Marissa Johnson
For most high school students, applying to college and waiting for acceptance letters is a nerve-wracking process. However, for Ariana Alexander, the valedictorian at Kenwood Academy in Chicago, there was no shortage of options.
With an amazing GPA of 5.1 out of 4.0, colleges were swarming her, offering her scholarships and trying to get her to go to their schools. She was offered a total of $3 million in scholarships.
She got accepted into twenty-six colleges. Six of these schools were ivy-league.
“I feel like this means I can afford to go to college,” she said.
That’s putting it mildly. She could probably put half of her classmates through college with that much money.
Ariana is the youngest of four children. Her older siblings have gone to college, so it is not against the norm in her family to seek higher education.
She has decided to attend the University of Pennsylvania to study business. An aspiring entrepreneur, she has plans to open four restaurants.
Alexander said that before her teacher, Paul Brush, opened her eyes to the Wharton School of Business, she had never heard of the prestigious school.
Because her parents supported her and knew the value of an education, Alexander was able to succeed. Her father says he encouraged her to try her best so that she can be the best.
It is amazing that a young person already has ambitions to be an entrepreneur. Not enough #black people become entrepreneurs and instead work for others. Even popular companies commonly associated with black patronage like Nike’s Air Jordan brand and Church’s Chicken are not owned by black people.
Alexander is an example of the potential young people have to change America by becoming business owners and to hopefully offer other opportunities and jobs to other African Americans.
The ABC article did not include the level of education her parents completed nor the ages of her siblings or they colleges they attended. However, it is clear that in an age in which black parents are criticized for not prioritizing education and pushing their children, Alexander’s parents got it right.