Jersey Proud: College Achieve Central Charter School senior accepted into 2 Ivy League schools
A senior at College Achieve Central Charter School in Plainfield is overjoyed after being accepted into two Ivy League schools.
"I'm like shaking I'm so scared" said Britney Balseca as she documented the moment when two emails arrived on a cellphone from two of her dream schools.
"On a scale of 1 to 10, probably a 20. I was very nervous," Balseca recalled.
Balseca is the daughter of a single parent, a mother who works two jobs to pour it all into her daughter's future.
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Balseca did her part by acing high school with great grades and extracurricular activities.
She will be the first in her family to go to college. But which one?
Balseca's plan was to apply to Rutgers University and New Jersey Institute of Technology, but a guidance counselor at the high school pushed her to aim higher by aiming for the Ivy League schools.
"For Britney it was more, 'Can I?' Yes, yes, you can," said College Achieve counselor Halima Moore. She has been in Balseca's ear for the last two years. She pushed her to apply to both Princeton and Harvard.
"I thought they were crazy a little bit... I thought it was a lost cause to apply," Balseca said.
"I say to Britney all the time, 'You are Princeton. You are Harvard,'" Moore said.
The notifications came the same day.
"I didn't have high expectations for either one," Balseca said.
Cellphone captured the moment when the decisions came from both schools via email. She paused, said a prayer and went to the Harvard email first.
"I got into Harvard," she said in Spanish with excitement. She then raced to tell her family. Even minutes later, she could barely keep it together.
"I got into Harvard," she said as she opened the email from Princeton.
"I got into Princeton too," she said as she got emotional. "I got into Princeton and Harvard"
Which led to an assembly at her school in her honor to celebrate the very rare double admissions. The question now, which one?
"I'm not sure yet which one. I'm very excited with every choice I make to take advantage of resources, and the teachers available and all that. I've very excited for my future," Balseca said.
Balseca, who says she wants to be a doctor one day, has to decide by May 1.