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Bioscience High School senior accepted to 17 colleges, offered $4.6M in scholarships

Posted at 10:24 PM, May 15, 2023

PHOENIX — Analy Cota's high school journey has brought its typical challenges from the classroom to learning more about her classmates.

"Everybody was supportive, and we were all kind of having to make friends,” said Cota.

The Bioscience High School senior says she had a good start, but then the pandemic came along.

"That was kind of hard because I am a very social person and I thrive off seeing my friends and just talking to people,” added Cota.

Classes turned virtual even when Cota returned for her sophomore year.

“Finding the motivation to actually wake up and open that computer at the end of the week, I wanted to throw it out of the window,” said Cota.

So, she signed up for sports to help keep her sanity.

“It was a hard year, but overall, I think I did a pretty good job surviving,” said Cota.

Cota is set to become a first-generation college student thanks to her family, teachers, and Lionila Gariepy's support.

"We've talked about everything in her office. I have sat in her chair, like, that chair has my tears embedded in it,” added Cota.

Mrs. Gariepy is a community liaison who got to know Cota during the teen's junior year.

"I think I remember how bubbly she was and how excited she was,” said Gariepy.

But, Mrs. Gariepy noticed a little bit of stress after Cota applied to 23 colleges.

"She was like Mrs. Gariepy, what if I die and I haven't opened an acceptance letter yet? I was like, well, it won't matter. Ha. Ha. Ha. She's just a joy,” stated Gariepy.

Both found relief when the senior opened seven of her acceptance letters in one night.

"I was in disbelief. One after the other! I was on FaceTime with a friend. We were just like oh my gosh. Oh my gosh,” added Cota.

But, seven was just the beginning.

Cota admits she was surprised to receive 17 acceptance letters, but having all of them reminds her of what it took to get to this point.

"It just shows my resilience, my work in the classroom, and everything I am involved in kind of paid off,” added Cota.

Nearly 75% of all the schools she applied to, chose her, which amounted to $4.6 million in potential scholarships.

In the end, Cota chose to attend Williams College in Massachusetts.