Hermiston High School was recently notified that Heidy Mejia-Puerta, a high school senior, was accepted to Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island as an early decision (binding) applicant.
Brown University is an Ivy League school and in 2016, Brown had a 9.3 percent acceptance rate; 32,390 students applied and only 3,015 were accepted.
Mejia-Puerta is a first-generation college student.
“Heidy’s achievements are another indicator that students at Hermiston High School have the drive and ability to go for big opportunities,” said Melody Bustillos, school counselor, and Generation College advisor. “Heidy works hard, is curious, and motivated to affect change in her life and those around her.”
Mejia-Puerta was selected as a LEDA Scholar to participate in a seven-week program at Princeton University the summer after her junior year. The LEDA Scholars Program is designed to help high-achieving, low-income, students go to the most selective colleges in the country. During the Scholars Program, she participated in leadership training, academic writing instruction, standardized test preparation, college guidance, and community building activities.
Mejia-Puerta is the sixth Hermiston High School student to be selected as a LEDA Scholar in the 13 years LEDA has been in existence. LEDA selects 60-100 students each year across the nation to participate in this all-expense paid college preparation experience.
“Heidy’s admission to Brown with the scholarship they are offering is equivalent to a basketball player getting a full-ride to Duke,” said Roger Berger, Generation College adviser. “This is a big deal and shows the ability of our students to be successful academically at the highest levels in this country.”
Hermiston has been having students attend the top universities in the country for many years.
“This is not the first student who is achieving the pinnacle of success academically, and this will not be the last,” Berger said. “Heidy is continuing a strong tradition of academic excellence and we are proud of her work ethic and ability to take risks to show herself and others what is possible.”
Mejia-Puerta is undecided as to what field she will pursue, but she is inclined to pursue the political science field and law field.
“This opportunity means so much to me,” said Mejia-Puerta. “Not only do I get to attend one of the top institutions in this country, but I get to bring pride to my friends, family, and community. It’s really nice to show that everything they have invested in me is paying off. My acceptance into Brown has only reinforced my confidence in my ability to accomplish whatever I set my mind to.”