Not everyone comes from a life of luxury. Just ask high school senior Antoinette Love, who is set to graduate from the International High School of New Orleans (IHSNO) this spring.
Love was born six weeks prematurely, then suffered from a dog attack when she was just 2. Her 15-year-old brother, whom she helped raise, has cystic fibrosis, and she has three other younger siblings whom she helps her mother take care of.
She hasn’t let her circumstances keep her from her classes, though. And after years of studying, writing essays, and engaging in her school’s academic community, she’s off to follow her dreams of becoming an elementary education major in college—with a whopping 115 schools to choose from.
Love broke a school record set in 2018 when she was accepted into 115 different universities, raking in an incredible $3,775,230 in scholarships awarded in the process. It blows IHSNO graduate Darrin Francois’s numbers out of the water, surpassing the 91 schools and $2.8 million in scholarship incentives that he boasted when he graduated from the public charter in 2018.
“This really is a dream come true,” she said, via an interview with Fox News 11. “All my hours of studying, writing and classes have paid off in the best possible way and I can’t wait to move forward and start my college education.”
The average college education has skyrocketed in cost in the last generation alone, jumping from less than $8,000 per year for in-state tuition, room, and board at public universities in 1990 to over $18,000 per year by 2007, and prices have jumped another 31 percent in the last decade. Private universities can cost families as much as $50,000 or more per year for tuition alone, and books can be staggering to pay for as well.
Those financial figures have made the college experience a much tougher prospect for teens to afford today, but students like Love have proven that the money can be out there with the right amount of willpower.
It wasn’t easy. IHSNO is an International Baccalaureate school, which provides students with college-like courses during their high school years to prepare them for their university journeys ahead. On top of that, Love also managed to rack up inductions into the National Senior Beta Club, the National Honor Society, the National English Honor Society and Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honor Society during her four years, giving her a well-decorated cap and gown as she prepares to cross the stage.
It hasn’t just been about her own success, though, which makes her story even more uplifting to read. According to IHSNO Head of School Sean Wilson, she spends her time volunteering to help out other students as well—preparing her for the prospective elementary education degree she hopes to pursue and giving her fellow students a boost up in the process.
“Antoinette began her freshman year as a shy girl, and she has grown into a hard-working scholar who is eager to help her fellow students with their academics,” Wilson explained.
Before deciding on her school, Love will need to visit the various campuses in order to select the perfect one. As she walks across student courtyards and tours dorms, though, she can be secure in the knowledge that she’s going to head to school with a check in her back pocket—all thanks to the mountains of hard work that she put in.