“Class of 2011, today we are the dream of our ancestors, the fruits of their success!”
That’s the message that Germantown High School Senior Althea Escorce delivered to her classmates during a speech at their graduation. And thanks to hard work and dedication, the dreams of her ancestors are being fulfilled.
The 18-year-old aspiring cardiologist was offered an astonishing total of $1.3 million in scholarship money from 40 universities. She will attend the University of Pennsylvania in the fall on a free ride.
“I made it my hobby to apply to scholarships,” said Althea.
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Althea credits her guidance counselor Gwen Dixon with helping her field offers from the universities.
“She was on the Internet looking at things,” said Gwen.
“Every scholarship I would give her, she’d come back with an essay.”
After Gwen asked for permission, a portion of Althea's scholarship money that she didn't use was given to other deserving students at Germantown High School.
Althea and her family moved to Philadelphia from Guyana three years ago. They say that they saw America as a place where their daughter could get the best education possible. Althea took full advantage, becoming Germantown High School’s class president and valedictorian with a 4.0 GPA.
“I’m so excited and proud,” said Althea’s mother Roxanne.
“I think she did her best,” said her father Joel. “She will be a doctor.”
Ultimately it was Althea’s grandfather Basil Massay who gave his granddaughter the most poignant words of wisdom.
“The sky is your limit,” said Basil.
“Do not tell yourself you’ve arrived until everything you’ve learned is behind your back. Move as far as you can with grace.”