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Monday, June 19, 2023

18-Year-Old Black Student Beats Cancer, Graduates High School With 4.7 GPA

Aya Osman

Nationwide — Aya Osman, an 18-year-old African American student from Orange Park, Florida who has been battling cancer over the last two years, has graduated Summa Cum Laude from high school. She has also been awarded a full scholarship to attend NYU.

Since she was 12 years old, Osman dreamed of being a neurologist. It was almost put on hold when she was diagnosed with cancer. But instead of dwelling too much on the future, she remained focused on the present, adopting a step-by-step approach to life.

The aggressive treatment to eliminate the tumor in her arm meant enduring 6 months of chemotherapy sessions every three weeks with 3-day hospital stays. Despite that, she refused to let cancer dictate her life and made herself busy with schoolwork and other activities.

“It helped to distract yourself, and no matter what it may be, whether it was piano or schoolwork,” Osman told Clay Today. “It definitely helps curb the side effects of such a great diagnosis. It helps keep put your mind at ease and keeps you focused about something else.”

Throughout her treatment, her mother brought her a laptop to the hospital, ensuring she could keep up with her studies. She diligently maintained her International Baccalaureate schedule while doctors monitored her progress.

“I did everything on my laptop,” Aya said. “So you know, I was laying down on my hospital bed and the nurses would come in checking heart rate, checking my temperature and whatnot. While I would be rushing to finish an essay for IB history or English or having the distraction of schoolwork, to be able to focus on something else really helped.”

All her dedication and hard work paid off as she graduated Summa Cum Laude from Ridgeview High School with an impressive 4.77 GPA.

Additionally, she was awarded a scholarship to attend New York University, with assistance from the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation, an organization dedicated to supporting children with cancer through financial and emotional support.

Aya, who is now cancer-free and 2 years into remission, is set to pursue a major in biology at New York University with the scholarship in hand.

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