Ja’Leaha Thornton, an 18 year old from Florida is celebrating her acceptance into 72 colleges as she offers advice to other students starting the application process.
Ja’Leaha Thornton, a senior at Glades Central Community High School with a 4.9 GPA, told “Good Morning America” that she started applying to 90 colleges and universities in early September 2021 and has already received acceptance letters from 72 of them.
“I know the process of applying could be kind of overwhelming to many, and instead of stressing myself out, I decided to make it a competition … and see how many I can actually get into,” the teenager explained to ‘GMA.’ “I wanted to broaden my horizons and explore some different schools outside of my state.”
Ja’Leaha Thornton will graduate from Belle Glade High School this May. She applied to 90 colleges and universities in total, and was accepted to 72 of them.
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The teen used the Common Black College Application and the Common App to apply to multiple colleges at the same time. She spent a total of $20 in the application process.
Thornton had her sights set on several colleges, with Howard University in Washington, D.C. initially being her dream school. She eventually decided to attend Xavier University of Louisiana, a historically Black university in New Orleans.
The extraordinary teenager, who clearly excelled in her application process, offered advice to students who were just beginning their own application process.
“Shoot beyond the sky, because it’s a world out there, and it has so much for us to explore, so don’t limit yourselves. Go beyond what’s in front of you and don’t take advantage of time. Use your resources and your opportunity.”
Ja’Leaha Thornton will be the valedictorian of her class when she graduates on May 24th. She plans to major in pre-medical psychology and minor in chemistry in order to pursue a career in forensic psychiatry. She also plans to study abroad in Asia and attend medical school after graduation.
She stated that she was interested in working with people who had committed crimes and trying to get them back on track, as well as studying their stories and seeing how we could apply that to real life. Her family, friends, and guidance counselors have all supported her determination throughout this ordeal.