SPRING VALLEY, N.Y. -- Lorna Deveaux can pinpoint the exact moment she knew her daughter would be an academic superstar. Cyan had to write a couple of paragraphs for a first-grade homework assignment. "She wrote seven pages."
She's never slowed down. Cyan Deveaux, the salutatorian at Ramapo High School, has been accepted to 12 colleges, including Harvard, Cornell, Yale and Duke.
The modest senior is hoping to study neuroscience, though she's not chosen a school yet. "I'm fascinated about how the mind works."
Cyan has until May 1 to decide. She's waiting to see what kind of scholarships are offered. Meanwhile, the 17-year-old keeps up a busy schedule at a 4.0 GPA student and an athlete.
For her college essay, Cyan wrote about perseverance. In her junior year, she wanted to join the tennis team, but had no experience playing tennis. She joined a tennis clinic, and noticed all the little kids (she says lowering her hand to her waist) were better than she was. She admits she was not accustomed to failure and so she did what high achievers do: practiced until she made it to the team. "I told myself that the only way to get better is to work hard -- and that applies to everything," said Cyan, who is now the captain of the East Ramapo Varsity Tennis Team.
Cyan recognizes her school district is challenged, but says that doesn't mean you can't succeed. "The students of East Ramapo are sometimes viewed in a negative light," she said. "It shouldn't be that way."
No one is a better testament to that sentiment than Cyan, who has grabbed every opportunity and run with it.
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