Despite a desperately heartbreaking year, Saniya Lyles managed to maintain a 4.5 GPA in her final months as a senior at her high school. As a student at Middle College at Bennett in Greensboro, North Carolina, Saniya experiences a tragedy last year when her mother suffered a heart attack and passed away.

Determined to make her mother proud, she kept up her grades and now she’s off to college. No doubt, with the chance to pick from seventeen college acceptances, she’s going a long way.

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Saniya received more than $500,000 in scholarship offers.

“I’m super excited,” Saniya explained in a recent interview with WFMyNews2. “I’m a tiny bit nervous, now that, I guess, I’m preparing for college [and] that my experience at high school is wrapping up… It was just one of those things… 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.'”

Soon after her mother died, Saniya dove into school, bent on maintaining her 4.5 GPA. She also toiled away at completing the last of her five college credit courses.

“If anything, you know, I just use it as encouragement,” Saniya explained to WFMyNews2. “Everything I did before, I told myself I must do 10 times more, to make her proud.”

This year, Saniya learned that she’d been accepted into not just one of the colleges she’d applied but seventeen. She also received an abundance of scholarships which ultimately added up to half a million dollars.

Saniya has already come to a decision and accepted her acceptance to Fayetteville State University.

She’ll go this fall.

“I plan on doing crime scene investigation after I get my degree,” she said in her interview. “And I do have aspirations of eventually joining the military, as well… My goal in life is just to make an impact, even after I pass. I just want to leave the world better than when I came in.”