Tuscaloosa student to attend Harvard after learning English only 6 years ago

Published: May. 16, 2016 at 9:14 PM CDT|Updated: May. 17, 2016 at 10:59 AM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - In April, Danica Gutierrez told a gym full of people where her future was outside of Tuscaloosa.

"I'm Danica Gutierrez and I'm going to Harvard University," the senior said while holding a T-shirt from her future college.

Gutierrez was the first Bryant High School senior to announce where she was going to college during the school commitment ceremony in April.

Her journey from Mexico to an Ivy League school was tougher than you'd imagine.

"Coming here as an immigrant, we spoke no, had no experience with the language. It was definitely hard. But I was able to overcome," she said.

She was six years old then. Now at age 17, Gutierrez spoke almost flawless English as she cheered on her fellow seniors.

The teen believes she's an example of what you can accomplish through hard work.

"Everyone can achieve what their mind is set to. And if you try really hard. And if you prepare yourself. Cause that's the thing, you have to prepare yourself," Gutierrez went on to say.

Danica Gutierrez is Bryant's valedictorian and will graduate with a 4.4 GPA.

She and the rest of the 2015 senior class will walk during Bryant High School's graduation ceremony on Tuesday evening.

Gutierrez is also a Gates Millennium Scholar Class of 2016. The program offers financial assistance to minority students pursuing undergraduate degrees.

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