OC high school senior to attend Harvard on scholarship after being accepted to 15 universities

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Wednesday, May 8, 2024
Santa Ana senior to attend Harvard University on full-ride scholarship
Segerstrom High School senior Brandy Figueroa is set to attend Harvard University on a full-ride scholarship after being admitted to 15 universities.

SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- The sky's the limit for one Orange County high school senior who is set to attend Harvard University on a full-ride scholarship.

Brandy Figueroa is preparing to take her final high school Advanced Placement tests before heading off to college this fall in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

"This is all that's left. I don't want to go. I don't want to go but I just need to take it all in with my friends," Figueroa said.

The standout student has excelled at Segerstrom High School in Santa Ana with a 4.7 GPA and is set to graduate top of her class.

"I knew that getting good grades, like every A that I got, that's like money saved," she said. "That's a couple hundred saved, that's thousands saved and now it's $100,000 saved per year."

The 17-year-old has been accepted into 15 universities across the U.S., including Columbia and Stanford.

Figueroa said, "All of them are great choices but I think Harvard would be the best choice in terms of putting me in a position where I'd be the most advantageous."

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Brandy's father, Jose Luis Figueroa, said he is overwhelmed by his daughter's brilliance. He said sending her off into the world to pursue her dreams of becoming a constitutional lawyer will be tough.

"Well, I'm proud of you and go get your dreams," Figueroa said.

Carrie McMullen, one of Brandy's teachers, said the senior's success shows others that hard work pays off.

"I already have some of my younger students asking me, 'How did she do it? What should I do?' It's kind of giving them that model or that new kind of goal like 'I can do this too,'" McMullen said.

Figueroa, whose parents immigrated from Mexico to the U.S., hopes to inspire others through her accomplishments.

"Hopefully this will have a greater impact on other people that come from my background or that may have seen failure in the past that you can still do it," the senior said. "It's still possible even if it's not the same traditional way that other people can do it."

Brandy's achievements in school were scheduled to be acknowledged with a special proclamation during Tuesday's Santa Ana City Council meeting.