GREENSBORO, N.C. — Starting Wednesday, hundreds of Guilford County Schools students will graduate from early/middle colleges and traditional high schools.
One GCS student was accepted into nearly 20 colleges and received more than $500,000 in scholarship offers.
She did it during a family tragedy.
Saniya Lyles is an exceptional student who’s received her fair share of college acceptance letters; 17 to be exact.
“I’m super excited,” Lyles said. “I’m a tiny bit nervous, now that I guess, I’m preparing for college. That my experience at high school is wrapping up.”
Wednesday, she graduates from Middle College at Bennett.
She plans to attend Fayetteville State University in the fall.
“I plan on doing crime scene investigation, you know after I get my degree and I do have aspirations of eventually joining the military as well,” Lyles said.
Though her heart is filled with joy, she said the moment is bittersweet.
Lyles lost her mom to a heart attack less than a year ago.
“So, it was just one of those things, you know,” she said. “I was happy, but still in the back of my mind, I’m like wow, I wish she could be here to see me do this and see me doing good."
Despite the tragedy, Lyles maintained a 4.5 GPA while completing her fifth college-credit course.
“If anything, you know I just use it as encouragement,” Lyles said. “Everything I did before, I told myself I must do 10-times more, you know to make her proud.”
She hopes her story will inspire others to never give up even when times are tough.
“My goal in life is just to make an impact and even after I pass you know,” Lyles said. “I just want to leave the world better than when I came in.”
She and her classmates will graduate Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at the Coliseum Fieldhouse in Greensboro.