America is cheering for young Brianna Watts, the homeless girl living in a shelter with a drug-addict/former inmate mother who has nonetheless excelled in school and now has been accepted to a dozen colleges.
All that is needed now is for a benefactor to step up and offer to underwrite it. Room and board has been estimated to cost from $14,000 to $18,000 a year.
“I’m just shocked I got accepted to so many schools,” Watts, 18, said in an interview with the New York Post. “I feel like I may be more excited when I get closer. Right now it’s a lot of pressure.” Added her mom, Bridgette Gibbs, “We’re going to make it happen. If we have to sell lemonade on the corner, we’re going to make it happen. Car washes, bake sales. We’re willing to push that envelope as far as it will go.”
The colleges from which Watts has thus far received acceptances include Delaware State University, Virginia State University, the University of Albany, Alfred State College, Monroe College, Goldey-Beacom College, SUNY Morrisville, SUNY Plattsburgh, Adelphi University, Hunter College, Lehman College and John Jay College.
Brianna and her mom “have overcome enough in recent years to know not to rest on her remarkable achievement. Though they have spent many moments celebrating, all the acceptance letters in the world won’t mean anything if she can’t move into a dorm and sign up for classes,” the Daily News said. In its piece, Watts is quoted as saying, “I’m just shocked I got accepted to so many schools. “I feel like I may be more excited when I get closer. Right now it’s a lot of pressure.”
CBS in New York has also joined the cheering squad. “One college acceptance is cause for celebration, but now Brianna Watts has 12 reasons to celebrate,” the station noted.
“The 18-year-old Bronx teen got into every college of the dozen she applied to, beating the odds in not only in college admissions but in life. She was brought up at times homeless by a then-crack-addicted mother who spent time in prison. Brianna stayed positive,” the CBS report continued. “I know there people worse than me who didn’t have a place to sleep or food to eat, and I still had that even though I was in a shelter,” she said. Added her mom, “I always encouraged them to be better than me.”
Sounding like a modern-day Rocky, Watts told CBS correspondent Carolyn Gusoff that she was able to overcome her dire circumstances through hard work and determination. “I tried not to let my circumstance define me, who I was as a person,” she said. “I went from getting 75s and 65s my ninth grade year to getting 90s my 10th grade year.”
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