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Strom Thurmond grad to attend Harvard in the fall - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Strom Thurmond grad to attend Harvard in the fall

EDGEFIELD, SC (WFXG/WIS) -

A girl from the small town of Edgefield, on a tucked away road is making history for her family. Strom Thurmond High School grad, Emily Preacher-Santiago, received acceptance letters to Harvard, Yale, John Hopkins, and Furman. And she couldn’t stop the overflow of emotions when she got the news. “I cried…I was at work and my friend told me I need to check my emails. She was yelling at me because I hadn’t checked them," says Preachers-Santiago.

Emily never thought out of all the applications and Harvard’s 6% freshman acceptance rate in 2015 that she would get a "yes". “It’s just thinking about all of the other essays are being sent to them and what makes mine any different," says Preachers-Santiago.

And her mother got a little choked up just thinking about little girl going to Harvard. “Just do what’s best for you…always. I love you and I’m very proud of you," says Jennifer Brooke Edwards.

She hopes to make a difference in the sciences and possibly study art therapy. “I want to major in neuroscience. I want to get a PhD in it and hopefully go into neuro-psychology. I really just hope to prove myself at Harvard," says Preachers-Santiago.

Ms. Jackson was the teacher who really pushed her to apply. Emily says she hadn’t applied anywhere and the school year was already halfway over.

“There’s a lot of people who just automatically think they won’t get in anyway so why try. And I almost did that. I’ve had a bunch of people come up to me and say ‘Wow that’s incredible, you got into Harvard. I’d never be able to do that!’, well what’s stopping you?’' says Preachers-Santiago.

Her story is the definition of taking a chance and coming out on top. If you would like to help with her incredible journey, you can click here to find out how you can help.

Copyright 2017 WFXG. All rights reserved.

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