Tinian student accepted to 2 Ivy League schools, Air Force Academy, other universities

BOARD of Education student representative Mariah Cruz of Tinian was accepted to two Ivy League schools and 11 other prestigious institutions, including the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Since the start of school year 2017-2018, the Tinian High School senior said she submitted applications to Yale; Princeton; Stanford; University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Irvine; University of California, Merced; University of California, San Diego; University of California, Los Angeles; University of Hawaii at Manoa; Washington State University in Pullman; University of Washington in Seattle; Seton Hall University in New Jersey; and the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado.

“I got accepted in all of them,” she told Variety. “I thought I would be accepted to one or two only.”

Cruz said besides academics, she focuses on extra-curricular activities which mostly involve community service.

“It is a great feeling to be accepted by these prestigious schools, but at the same time stressful. I am stuck at the question: ‘Which do I choose?’ They are among the best schools and they are dream schools to a lot of people,” she said.

After high school, she said she may study business and law at either Stanford University or UC Berkeley.

“I will make my decision next week because I want to be sure and I want to be prepared,” she added.

She said her acceptance to some of the nation’s prestigious universities was her “Valentine’s” gift to her parents, Mary Susan and Allen Perez. She shared the good news with them on Feb. 14.

“It was the best Valentine’s Day present,” Mrs. Perez said. “I was shocked because we didn’t know that she had apply to those universities.”

According to her mother, Cruz saved a portion of her allowance in order to pay for the application fees.

“She never asked us for money. Mariah is very smart and studious. She is very quiet and full of surprises,” her mother said.

Cruz also informed her parents that her SAT score was 1520. “I am so proud of her,” Mrs. Perez said, adding that her daughter is always determined to achieve her goals.

Mrs. Perez said her daughter, who was born in the Philippines, was only five years old when she first arrived in the CNMI.

“Back then, she didn’t know how to speak English — not even a single word of it,” Mrs. Perez said, adding that she hired a tutor for her daughter. “My husband and I, even my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, also took turns in helping her in English and Math.”

When she was in fourth grade, Cruz started excelling in school, her mother said.

“Her accomplishments are also our accomplishments. I am so blessed because Mariah is smart and very down to earth — those are the blessings that I count,” Mrs. Perez said.

She also commended Cruz’s teachers in elementary, middle and high schools. She said they all helped her 17-year-old daughter to be an excellent student. “Teachers here are really pushing their students to learn. They give you every opportunity to excel in education.”

Source: Marianas Variety :

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