All of Kelly Hyles’ hard work has paid off!

The senior at High School for Math, Science, and Engineering at the City College of New York was recently accepted into all eight Ivy League schools. Hyles, who came to the US from Guyana at 11, was also accepted into John Hopkins University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Altogether, she was accepted into 21 schools.  

She told PEOPLE that she’s still in shock, but is “so grateful.” Her mother, Anetta Hyles, was also stunned, “By the first one I was in tears of joy, I am screaming and shouting, ‘Thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus.'”

Black Girl Magic

Kelly has more than earned her good news. She the valedictorian of her class and participates in a competitive biomedical research program at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, where everyday after school she studies the effect of a gene on diabetes at the Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism Institute.

The 17-year-old hasn’t decided which Ivy she’ll attend, but says she’s leaning toward Harvard, which has always been her dream school. But, Kelly says she couldn’t have accomplished so much without her mother pushing her.  “When I got into the colleges, I told my mom, I was like, ‘Oh, these acceptance letters are as much mine as they are yours.'”

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