Bill Moller, Black excellence, Danaya Doughty, National, National Decision Week, News, News Video, Race -

Chicago Reporter Asks Teen Accepted Into 36 Colleges If She’s ‘Just Smart or Did You Work for This?’

Bill Moller, Black excellence, Danaya Doughty, National, National Decision Week, News, News Video, Race -

Chicago Reporter Asks Teen Accepted Into 36 Colleges If She’s ‘Just Smart or Did You Work for This?’

A Chicago student’s moment to shine was dimmed this week during an interview with a local news reporter who seemingly took jabs at the college-bound teen and her notable accomplishments.

High school senior Danaya Doughty suddenly became a local celebrity amid news that she’d been accepted into 36 of the 84 colleges she applied to. What’s more, Doughty was offered nearly $1 million in academic scholarships to sweeten the deal.

May 1 marked National Decision Day, the day students declare which college they’ll attend in the fall. Doughty and her mom Tonja Harris stopped by local station CLTV to discuss how she to managed to achieve this amazing feat and what’s next for the decorated teen once she begins her college experience.

Like most, reporter Bill Moller was in disbelief that Doughty had applied to so many schools and was accepted into nearly half of them. The teen explained that she surpassed her high school’s minimum of seven college applications because she had no idea where she wanted to attend. So she chose to apply to several schools, finally settling on New Orleans’ Xavier University as her college of choice.

“But that’s 36 applications, 36 full applications to fill out. Good grief!,” Moller commented. Pointing to Doughty’s mom, he added, “You must be writing some of these essays.”

Harris quickly shot down the idea, giving her daughter full credit.

“She wrote ’em all,” she said.

Doughty said she used the Common Black College app, which allows students to apply to several HBCU’s at once, for about 50 of the applications but manually completed the rest on her own.

“Thank God they’ve got the [Common app] otherwise you could not have pulled this off,” Moller said before asking, “So, are you just smart because you’ve got the smart genes or did you work for this?”

“I worked very hard for this,” Doughty responded. “Sleepless nights, overnights at the library and at home, going to school tired and still having to take tests. It was all me.”

Watch more of their interview above.


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