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Virginia student accepted to over 2 dozen colleges, receives $700K in scholarships

SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A Virginia student is proof that hard work pays off.

Courtney Toran, a senior at Nansemond River High School in Suffolk, has been accepted into more than two dozen colleges and universities. And if that’s not enough, she has also received more than $700,000 in scholarships.

“This is a very life-changing experience,” said Toran, who is not only a star student, but an All-American cheerleader and the senior class president.

Her high school has a wall showing all the colleges and universities that students have been accepted to, and Toran’s name appears multiple times.

She has been accepted to Spelman College, Salem College, Old Dominion University, Virginia Commonwealth University and about 20 others.

“It makes me feel proud of myself,” she said.

Toran said originally she wanted to go to VCU, then she just kept applying from there.

“I just feel like I’m very blessed with all these opportunities that I have, and it’s made it a little difficult to choose what college I’m going to,” she said.

But she has decided.

She’s heading to Regent University to study psychology.

“Over quarantine, there were incidents going on, such as George Floyd, that really motivated me to understand why people think the way that they think,” Toran said.

Her principal, Dr. Shawn Green, said Toran has always challenged herself by taking advanced courses. So much so, that in addition to her high school diploma, she’s graduating with an associate’s degree.

“Typically out of the 400 students, we may have one or two, so she definitely stands out,” Green said.

The wall of colleges at Nansemond River showcases that students are moving on to different colleges, trade schools or the military, Green said.

“It’s now to the point where we are backlogged trying to get all the schools up,” Green said.

Each year, the school also keeps track of the amount all students have received in scholarship money, and it is announced at graduation. Green said it usually totals between $3 million and $8 million.

Toran said getting her name up on the wall multiple times wouldn’t have been possible without the support of her friends, family and, especially, her dad.

“He’s told me that every time that I say that I can’t, I have to do it, and I can,” she said. “We have a quote in our house that says ‘Do what you want to do, so you can do what you have to do.’ It’s a quote by Denzel Washington, and that’s been my motivation ever since.”

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