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Ny’Quasia Brown

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A North Carolina teenager is heading to college for free after she received more than $1 million in scholarships.

Ny’Quasia Brown has been on the road to since middle school. She began taking high school courses when she was in the eighth grade, and consequently, she’s graduating high school after only three years. As she prepared to graduate, Brown began applying for scholarships to pay for college. Due to her efforts, she secured $1.5 million in scholarshipsfrom 87 schools.

 “It was very overwhelming,” Brown told WCNC. “It just felt like all of my hard work had honestly paid off.”

The 16-year-old overcame several obstacles to get to this point. She was raised by a single mother while her father was incarcerated.

“He’s my best friend, he’s my other half. And with him gone I know I have to fill his shoes that he would want me to,” Brown said. “I do everything I do because of him and my uncle.”

Brown admitted there were challenges, but she knew she had to keep going. She also worked two jobs and played basketball along with her studies.

“I know it gets hard, it gets very hard. You miss that other parent, but you can’t lose the vision,” Brown said. “Because at the end of the day you have to think, ‘what would that parent want you to do.'”

The White Oak High School senior credits her mother and godparents for ensuring she keeps her priorities in check.

“I feel so lucky because some people don’t have any parents,” Brown said. “My mom made sure I don’t feel any less than a child with two parents.”

The young scholar also has a network of friends who act as accountability partners.

“I have my five friends that when I’m down and say ‘guys I can’t do this’ they always push me to continue,” Brown said. “We’re gonna be great.”

Brown had an array of choices, but she already had her mind made up, according to HBCU Buzz.

“I’ve always wanted to go to an HBCU (historically black college or university),” Brown said. “When I started doing my research, I looked at colleges that ranked high in the nation where I knew I could also get a great education.”

She is headed to North Carolina Central University (NCCU) to study political science and has dreams of becoming a lawyer. Her mom, Crystal Gill, believes she can do it.

“Ny’Quasia is very independent and has a mind of her own, and I support her,” Gill said. “I see her being a successful attorney. She will be phenomenal and make changes in the world.”

Her principal, Dr. Christopher Barnes, spent years watching Brown work toward her goals.

“My first interaction with Ny’Quasia showed me she was a very vocal and confident freshman,” he recalled. “She has become intense and determined about success beyond high school,” Barnes said.  “Her ability to know what she is after, where she is going and how to get there is admirable. She is a mold-breaker.”

Brown has simple advice for students who want to follow in her footsteps.

“Leadership is very important; take advantage of every opportunity you are given,” she said. “Place God first. Utilize your full potential. God has blessed me with a community and family that have supported me when I couldn’t do it for myself. Always remember that you have to sow a seed.”

Credit: blavity.com