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A New Orleans teenager is living proof that there is power that lies in perseverance. Despite growing up in an impoverished environment, Antoinette Love was accepted into 116 colleges and received $3.7 million in scholarships, the U.S. Department of Education reported.

Love’s parents had her when they were teenagers. Although they had a rough time adjusting to parenthood at a young age, they always made sure to stress the importance of education because they wanted Antoinette to go further and accomplish more than they were able to. They enrolled her in the International High School of New Orleans—a charter school that is a part of the New Orleans Public School system—so that she could begin laying the foundation for educational success early on. The school was one of a few that allowed its students to participate in a dual-enrollment program and take advantage of International Baccalaureate courses as well.

While at the International High School of New Orleans, Antoinette excelled in the classroom and made a huge impact in her school community. She participated in school clubs and maintained a high grade point average. Her academic accomplishments led her to 116 college acceptances and nearly $4 million in scholarship offers; setting a record. Love—who now attends Eureka College in Illinois—is the first person in her family to go to college. Inspired by the teachers who helped her develop a love for learning, she is pursuing a degree in education and hopes to one day become a teacher. She wants to use education as a tool to empower youth to break cycles within their families and communities.

“Being the first person in my family to attend college makes me proud and also sad because no one else in my family had the chance to go to college,” she said in a statement. “Now that I have a chance to go other people in my family may feel like they have the chance to go as well.” Her educational journey has inspired individuals in her family and beyond. Following her graduation, her father Anthony Love—who dropped out of high school to take care of his family—enrolled in courses at Delgado Community College in New Orleans so that he could prepare for his GED test. “I’m inspired by Antoinette just being able to finish school so it makes me want to go back and get my GED so I can also finish.”

Black teenagers throughout the country are displaying academic excellence. 18-year-old Louisiana native Normandie Cormier was accepted into 139 colleges and received $8.7 million in grants and scholarships.

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