Gemma Collins is still pinching herself after being offered the chance to study at one of the world’s top universities and $250,000 dollars to help fund it.
The 18-year-old from Layton has been given an unconditional offer to study at Harvard University from September - one of 34 teens to make it through a tough process to win an early place.
And the Ivy League college has also said it will fund her four years of study, with the $244,000 bill being footed by benefactors to the university.
The teen competed with 1,200 others to win one of 150 places with charity the Sutton Trust, and then in the first 34 to be offered an unconditional place.
She is one of 992 offered the early place, out of the 4,692 from across the world who applied.
She said: “I was so shocked, I couldn’t believe it. It’s life changing really.”
Gemma, of Carleton Avenue, is setting the bar high as the first in her family to go to university.
Last summer, the Blackpool Sixth Form student was one of 150 students selected for a summer school in the US, spending a week living on campus at Yale University and visiting a number of other American universities.
She said: “Before that I was interested but didn’t think it was realistic or thought it’d be affordable.
“When I visited Harvard it just felt right and I really wanted to go. I know I’ll be at home there.”
Gemma, who is predicted A* and A grades in her English language, English literature, maths, modern history and critical thinking A Levels, hopes to major in history at the college in Massachusetts.
The former Hodgson High School pupil is now busy juggling her studies ahead of A Level exams, saving up money while working at McDonalds and preparing for an induction trip to the university in April.
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