Georgia high school senior Kayla Willis wasn’t initially going to share her massive rate of college acceptances last month, but when she decided to do so she quickly went viral.
The Westlake High School student tweeted a photo on Feb. 24 showing she had been accepted to 31 colleges from around the country.
“i kinda didn’t want to post this, but someone said ‘the whole world needs to know how great you are’ so here we go twitter!” she said.
i kinda didn’t want to post this, but someone said “the whole world needs to know how great you are” so here we go twitter! pic.twitter.com/g58Xd0w1w2
— Kayla E. Willis (@kaegenic) February 24, 2019
The resident of the Atlanta suburb of Fairburn detailed what led her to share the achievement to 11 Alive last month and said her dad was the one who encouraged her to hit “tweet.”
“He was like, ‘You need to show the world how great you are,'” Willis, who has a 4.0 GPA, recalls. “Show that someone like me can actually get into the schools and have options for themselves.”
Willis, who applied to 45 schools after starting a club to help students learn how to reach their goals, said her viral post has reached people from around the world, with praise even coming toward her in foreign languages.
And it’s not just worldwide encouragement the 17-year-old has garnered. Principal Jamar Roberson said he’s “had so many students come up to me and say, ‘Hey, here’s my acceptances, I want to put them on the wall.'”
“I wanted to inspire people and show them that you can actually dream big and get to where you want to go,” says Willis, who is waiting to hear back from schools like the University of Notre Dame and the University of Georgia.
As for how the high school student managed to collect more than $900,000 in total scholarships from all the schools she was accepted to without spending a dime on entrance fees, Willis simply asked them to waive the costs. She only paid for postage. Plus, many schools were seeking well-rounded applicants, which made up for her SAT score of 1160.
After getting acceptance letters from schools including Howard University, Clark Atlanta, Ohio State and Louisiana State University, Willis said she’s decided to attend Fisk University, a historically Black university in Nashville, Tennessee. She explained on Twitter it is her top school and she’ll be going on a full-ride scholarship. The teen plans to study international business and Spanish.
As she awaits high school graduation in the following months, support continues to pour out for the soon-to-be college freshman.
“Congratulations, the sky is the limit.”
“#blackgirlmagic at its finest… CONGRATULATIONS Queen.”