SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WHSM) -- A high school senior from Springfield was accepted into all eight Ivy League schools.

Western Mass News spoke with Roberta Hannah, a senior at the Springfield High School of Science of Technology, who was accepted to all the eight schools.

“Originally, I was only going to apply to three, but then my mom and my sister were like, ‘You should just apply to all eight,’ so I didn’t really have a choice,” Hannah said.

Early on, four of the schools let Hannah know she would likely get in, but it wasn’t until Ivy Day, observed on March 26, that she was certain she had been accepted into all eight.

“I was really anxious getting up to the day, and then I started opening the letters, and I was like oh, I keep seeing ‘yes,’” she said.

Hannah said the secret is a lot of hard work and dedication.

“A lot of studying,” she said. “Last year, I took four AP classes, but up until then, I was mostly in honors classes or pre-AP, and so last year, I took four AP classes, and this year I’m taking seven AP exams.”

Hannah plans to study biochemistry and African-American studies.

“So my goal is to be a medicinal chemist, but with making medicine and kind of the one researching it,” she said. “I want my focus to be on increasing accessibility and making the medicine more affordable.”

She said her mom and sister were the driving forces behind her success.

“I think because of the fact my mom didn’t go to college, she always pushed us a little extra hard,” Hannah said.

“I just knew because it is my child, and I know her gifts, and I basically made her apply to all the schools,” said Valerie Williams, Hannah’s mom.

For the moment of reveal, Hannah said she will be attending Columbia University.

Copyright 2020 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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(1) comment


Congratulation to both Hannah AND her Mom. Bio-Chem is a fantastic undergraduate study and I suspect Hannah will eventually earn her Phd. Lot's of hard work ahead of you but it is an incredibly fascinating and rewarding science.

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