A gifted 18-year-old girl from Chicago is defying the odds and has the world of education at her feet as a result.

Finishing her senior year off at the top of her class with an impressive 5.1 GPA, Kenwood Academy valedictorian Arianna Alexander was accepted into a whopping 26 universities, including 6 Ivy League institutions.

She spoke candidly with ABC Chicago about her initial reaction to receiving so many acceptance letters, telling the local news affiliate ““[At first] it was a lot to take in. I received emails, letters. It was just like, ‘Come here, come here!’ They were bombarding me with all this information.”

Arianna humbly credits her teachers and the efforts of her father for her monumental accomplishment. She says it was her father who came up with the idea for Arianna to strive to receive at least $1 million in scholarship money after seeing a fellow Kenwood Academy student do so a few years ago. Arianna was able to not only achieve but exceed this goal, as her scholarship offers totaled $3 million in the end.

Her father says the offers and scholarship offers were a huge blessing for their family as they were concerned with Arianna’s college expenses having already sent their three older children off to college. Although it was a surely a difficult decision, Arianna has confirmed that she will be attending the University of Pennsylvania as a student of their prestigious Wharton School of Business in the fall. Her ultimate career goal is to open 4 restaurants.

At the rate that this highly-motivated young scholar is going, we wouldn’t be surprised to see an “Arianna’s” restaurant pop up in the very near future. Congratulations to Arianna on all of her extraordinary achievements!

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  • Sparger

    Congratulations, young lady. Now why did she apply to so many schools. That was a huge waste of money.

    • Me

      sounds like she got all her money back and then some.

    • Sparger

      She can’t use all those scholarships. I give you money to go to my school and you don’t go there you get zero.

    • Me

      that’s only if she got the scholarships through the school. i bet most of her scholarships are independent scholarships that she can use wherever she goes & she’ll end up getting a huge refund check every semester.

  • BillipPhailey

    Good. I hope she can intern with top chefs/owners. Wharton should make that really easy!!!!

    *fist pump*

  • Me

    i love reading these stories. every time i see this it makes me excited to one day raise kids of my own.

  • Rizzo

    the parents of this exceptional young woman should also be congratulated — they are absolutely phenomenal — having 3 other children in college. now, it’s arianna’s turn. a remarkable family and a remarkable achievement.

  • ray j

    This story doesn’t make sense. Accepted to 6 ivy leagues but choose a state college? Only to open 4 restaurants? Am I the only one who read this from to top to bottom? Don’t need college to open restaurants. Someone in her life is giving her stupid advice. Shes obviously not the stupid one in the equation.