In spite of everything that is happening across the country with Black lives, Akayla Brown is a ray of good news needed on the timeline. 

The 18-year-old Bodine High School senior was one of 300 seniors selected as a Gates Scholar.  With over 34,000 students vying for the prestigious award, Brown, as a recipient, will receive a full scholarship to the university of her choice. Along with the scholarship, she has earned $2 million in awards for college, as a Philadelphia NBC News affiliate reports.

“I want to be an example to my peers and to the next generation and show them that you can make anything you want become possible,” Brown told Philly Mag

Brown, who plans to major in international business, has been a highly sought-after academic with more than 18 college acceptance letters in her inbox. While she hasn’t announced her school of choice yet, the nonprofit founder and entrepreneur revealed her three top picks: Howard, Temple, and Villanova. 

“I just live my life to the fullest,” Brown shared with Philly Mag. “You live every day, but you only die once. And there’s no coming back.”

With that being said, congratulations are in order for Akayla Brown, and continue to make yourself, your family, your community, and us here at ESSENCE proud!