It really must be all in the family.
Democracy Prep Charter High School student Xaviera Zime was surrounded by her screaming classmates when she found out she was accepted to Harvard University on Tuesday – she follows in the footsteps of her two older sisters who both graduated from the Harlem school and currently attend Ivy League colleges.
Two years ago, her oldest sister Chris got into Dartmouth College, and a year later her sister Ella got into Yale University. Chris said she was ecstatic when she found out her younger sister's news.
“I was so excited,” she said. ”I was the one who lifted her up from the chair and almost body slammed her.”
Even more impressive, the three sisters from the Bronx were immigrants from Cameroon and couldn’t speak any English besides what they learned watching television shows.
“We started learning English, going to the library, reading books and using dictionaries,” Xaviera said.
Chris added, “We essentially had to learn English within a period of six months before standardized exams.”
The sisters attribute their college acceptances to their experience at Democracy Prep and their parents for encouraging them to prioritize education, even during tough times.
“I think that’s what motivated us to keep working and striving to work hard because it’s easy to get discouraged."
In the meantime, Xaviera says her Harvard acceptance has yet to set in.
“It still hasn’t processed,” she said.