The Hempstead, N.Y. resident and her family lost everything – including their home - in Hurricane Sandy in 2012, but she never let that steal her dream of going to an Ivy League school.
As the Sacred Heart High School senior's acceptance letters rolled in this year, it was clear she could breathe a huge sigh of relief. Daria not only got into one Ivy League school. She got into seven that she applied to and has received a total of 14 acceptance letters, according to WABC.
"I was like, oh my God, I just got into Harvard," she told the outlet. "Then I checked Princeton, and I was like, oh my God I, just got into Princeton. And I checked Brown, I got in. It just kept going and going."
Considering the hardships Daria's family faced in the last couple of years, her accomplishments mean even more to the family, who had to move to small living spaces while their home was being rebuilt.
"It's hard being a teenager and losing all these clothes and makeup and jewelry," Daria said. "We had to move from hotel to hotel. We stayed with my grandmother for a couple of months, then moved back to a hotel." The teen ended up using her experience with Hurricane Sandy in admissions essays.
"It came as a blessing, because she had something really substantial to write about," Her mom, Katrina Brooks, said. "Her truth, what she had gone through, what she survived." Now Daria's biggest decision is deciding where she'll go to school. When she does, she plans to study political science and Russian literature at that university.
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