Ever since she was a young child, North Atlanta High School senior Kamryn Stargell has followed her mother’s “blueprint” for attending college debt-free, and it’s since paid off in more ways than she could ever imagine.
Armed with her mom’s sage advice, laser-like focus, and a resume chock-full of extra-curricular activities, Kamryn no longer has to worry about how she’ll pay for college, thanks to having earned a whooping $2.3 million in college scholarships. She’s also been accepted into 29 colleges and universities – some of which include Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Miami, Auburn University, Colorado College, Virginia Tech, Tulane, Wake Forest, University of Georgia, Louisiana State, and Loyola and Baylor universities.
Kamryn now says she couldn’t be more excited to have the option to attend any one of her dream schools at no cost. This fall, Kamryn plans to attend Tulane University in New Orleans, where she will study bioengineering to help prepare for her future career as an obstetrician/gynecologist.
“All throughout high school, my mom and I talked about exploring all of my options and choices, and honestly, our original goal was not to reach $2 million in scholarships,” said 18-year-old Kamryn, who has a 3.94 GPA. “Our goal was $1 million, and to surpass that was a really big deal to us. We wanted to make sure that I would go to a place where I wouldn’t have to pay much money to go to school. So, scholarship money was one of my main goals throughout high school. I was focused on going to college for free.”
Kristie Stargell couldn’t be more proud of her daughter. She said the fruits of their labor have paid off, thanks to Kamryn’s hardwork and dedication.
“We have a blueprint, and I’ve always told Kamryn and her younger sister that it’s important for both of them to go to college for free,” said Stargell, who works as a media specialist at Beecher Hills Elementary School. “The goal has always been for them to graduate, get their degrees and walk away debt-free, and Kamryn followed the blueprint to a tee. It makes me extremely proud because she sees how hard work, focus and dedication honestly pays off in millions and millions of dollars.”
Since attending North Atlanta, Kamryn has relentlessly pursued academic excellence. In pursuit of her goal, this scholar has remained focused on maintaining stellar grades and getting involved in sports and other extra-curricular activities. Over the course of her high school career, Kamryn has participated in yearbook, North Atlanta’s Black Student Union, dance squard, rowing, soccer, cheerleading, track, coding, and playing the violin, as well as other activities. She also volunteers and works at Chick-Fil-A.
Kamryn’s journey to applying for scholarships began as early as sophomore year, during which she began building a list of potential colleges and researching scholarships at schools across the country.
“I was hoping I’d get a million dollars in scholarships, but I wasn’t sure,” said Kamryn, who attended The Lovett School in kindergarten through eighth grade. “My mom had more confidence in me than I did. But definitely after I surpassed that goal, I was like, ‘this is amazing.’ I was honestly surprised that I got that much in scholarships. It feels absolutely incredible knowing that I was able to reach and surpass my goal. It’s more than I could ever dream of, and now it’s my reality.”
Combined with the pressures of learning online during her senior year, maintaining excellent grades, and applying to colleges and submitting scholarship applications, Kamryn realizes she couldn’t have done any of it successfully without the support of teachers and her mom.
“She’s definitely my No. 1 inspiration,” Kamryn said. “My mom is the one who pushes me the most to do everything to the highest of my abilities. She’s been my biggest cheerleader throughout this whole process and throughout life in general.”
Kristie Stargell said she always encouraged Kamryn to go big when it came to applying for scholarships.
“Had she not applied to as many schools as she did, she wouldn’t have received that much money. It’s kind of like, you throw out your net and see what you’re going to get. If your net is small, then you’re going to get small fish, and if your net is big, you’re going to get big fish,” Stargell said. “That’s my theory. There were some schools she didn’t want to apply to, but she did and they came back with a lot of scholarship money. That came from a lot of hours of researching and deciding what was best for her in the long run.”