Hope Ascendant: VHS student receives $1.2M in scholarships; accepted at 50 universities, colleges

Mar. 18—VALDOSTA — Valdosta High School student Hope Emanuel is on the road to success as she has been accepted to more than 50 colleges and universities with $1 million in scholarships.

Emanuel has been given 22 full-ride or partial scholarship offers which equal to $1.2 million.

"I promised my parents that if they would support me by attending multiple college and academic programs, I would work and network so that they would not have to pay a dime for college," Emanuel said.

"I am very proud of myself. Without hard work, determination and most importantly God, I wouldn't be where I am."

Emanuel is the youngest daughter of Demetria and Victoria Emanuel and sister to Faith Emanuel and Katrice Barnes.

Since the age of 10, Emanuel has been a goal-driven and determined young lady. She began her jewelry business, Hope's Dazzling Accessories, and started a nonprofit organization Vision of Hope, a coin drive set up at her church to help raise funds to feed children after they leave school, Emanuel said.

Her parents said they are proud of her balance, dedication, humility and faith.

Demetria said, "I am excited and happy for Hope. We have watched her push herself and reach what she always wanted in life.

"As parents you should nurture the intelligence of your children and encourage them to accomplish greater things than yourself."

Victoria said, "It's amazing to know that she is soaring and doing awesome things. I'm humbled to know that God chose her."

Emanuel will be the second, following her older sister, to attend college, which is a huge accomplishment for her.

She said, "I wanted to be able to accomplish this to give my parents and family a sense of pride."

During the pandemic, Emanuel lost both of her grandparents due to illnesses, which she said empowered her to keep going and achieve her goals in their honor.

In 2022, Emanuel attended Emory University and Harvard University summer programs through her involvement with the AVID — Advancement Via Individual Determination, Educational Talent Search and 21st Century Leaders.

While at Emory with 21st Century Leaders, Emanuel had the role in introducing Dan Costa at the leadership dinner.

Emanuel said the experience at Emory was unparalleled, allowing her to further develop her leadership skills and network with diverse students from across Georgia. Also, the program offered her first on-campus college experience.

She said, "The experience truly allowed me to step out on faith, which made me resilient and I learned how to rise above all negativity and feelings of displacement."

Following that experience, Emanuel attended Harvard University as a Harvard Academy Scholar. She was nominated for the program by her AVID teacher at VHS.

Emanuel was the team leader for her group, which had to conduct a business pitch at the end of the program which she won second place overall.

Victoria said at this moment she and Demetria saw their daughter in a different light.

"The fact that she represented Valdosta so well and blew the crowd away, I was truly in awe of her," Victoria said. "It is important for our community to know it is not always about sports because her intellect is taking her to places we never thought (possible)."

Victoria and Demetria said the village of community truly pulled together to raise funds, buy necessary items and support Hope on her journey to Harvard, as well as, her stay at Emory.

"We are appreciative to the village and community for everything that they have done to support Hope," Victoria said.

"I also want the community to understand how important it is to support and fund programs like AVID and ETS because they truly work hard to support our students and make sure they are successful after high school."

It was on Harvard's campus where Emanuel decided that was the school for her. While, she has been waitlisted she said, "I have faith in God that it will be done."

In addition, Emanuel is waiting to make her final decision based on acceptance letters from University of Georgia, Spelman College, Duke University, Mercer University and Seton Hall University.

Emanuel said her career goal is to become a lawyer — owning her own practices around the world and to become a Supreme Court Justice of the United States.

She serves as an intern for Copeland, Haugabrook and Walker law firm.

Her accomplishments and memberships include the Student Mentoring In Life & Education program, National BETA club, past president of Future Business Leaders of America, Georgia Girls State, Recycling Club, Pearls for Girls Mentoring and National Society of High School Scholars.

"It feels very surreal to be creating my own legacy and bringing positivity to Black teen girls. I continue to ask myself 'why me?' but my faith is one of the things that I am most proud of because I know God is always there," Emanuel said.

"I am ready to go to the top and not stopping until I reach that mark."

Emanuel College Acceptance List:

1. Alabama State University

2. Wingate University

3. University of Maryland

4. Grambling State University

5. Huston-Tillotson University

6. Jackson State University

7. Alabama A&M University

8. Georgia State University

9. Edward Waters University

10. Bethune-Cookman University

11. Wilberforce University

12. Clark Atlanta University

13. Mercer University

14. Columbus State University

15. Wesleyan University

16. The University of Alabama

17. Kennesaw State University

18. North Carolina Central University

19. South Carolina State University

20. Voorhees University

21. Tougaloo College

22. Louisiana State University

23. Miles College

24. Hollins University

25. Hampton University

26. Benedict College

27. Coppin State University

28. Charleston Southern University

29. Tennessee State University

30. Converse University

31. Brenau University

32. The University of Houston

33. Seton Hall University

34. Birmingham Southern University

35. Fort Valley State University

36. Johnson and Wales University

37. University of North Florida

38. Taylor University

39. Salem College

40. Valdosta State University

41. Trinity Christian College

42. Mississippi State University

43. Bellarmine University

44. Fayetteville State University

45. Stillman College

46. Paul Quinn College

47. Oglethorpe University

48. Shaw University

49. Mount Saint Mary University

50. Wellesley University