Donated to the Central Digest
These times are uncertain for high school seniors who are ready to graduate. No one truly knows what next year at a new school will look like, especially amid a global pandemic. However, one thing is sure: DayOnna Carson is going to Harvard University.
Carson is the Central Digest’s Editor-in-Chief and Valedictorian of the Central Class of 2020. She was also one of 300 students selected out of 36,500 applicants selected to receive the Bill and Melinda Gates Scholarship. Her time on the Central Digest has helped her become a better writer, leader, and student.
In the summer of 2019, Carson attended a Summer Journalism Program at Princeton University. There, students were assigned a counselors from well known companies, such as CNN, whom encouraged them to apply to many universities and helped them through the application process.
After applying to several colleges, Carson was accepted to eight colleges and universities: University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Sewanee, University of Memphis, Wesleyan University, Washington University in St. Louis, Williams College, Swarthmore, and finally, Harvard.
“When I loaded my application status page and saw ‘Congratulations!’ in bold letters, I couldn’t believe it. I seriously thought that they sent it to the wrong person. Today, my Harvard acceptance still hasn’t fully set in, so everything feels surreal,” expressed Carson.
Carson explained she made her decision based on Harvard’s flexible majors to help students who may not be 100% sure of their area of study. She is interested in attending law school after attaining her Bachelor’s degree.
“I have noticed a sense of helplessness and complacency among my generation in regard to world relations and politics. Although a lot of people feel like they can’t change their community or government’s situation, that is not the case. Through law, I hope to inform people of their rights and bring them to action to create change themselves,” conveyed Carson.
Central has played a big role in preparing Carson for her time at Harvard. She says courses at Central have challenged her and helped her meet teachers and friends who are supportive. There are teachers who Carson is especially thankful for: Gregory Cantrell, adviser for the Central Digest, Peggy Moyer, and Christina Cotreau. Wired Editor Megan Green, Carson’s counselor from the Princeton Summer Journalism Program, has taken time to assist her with the college application process and answer her college inquiries.
“Without the Central Digest, I never would’ve gotten the opportunity to learn how to become an even better writer, leader, and journalist. The connections that I have formed through journalism have transformed my life,” Carson concluded.