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Pisay graduate gets offers from NYU, Yale-NUS, shares message to fellow students ‘in these lowest times’


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A Philippine Science High School (PSHS)–Calabarzon student has received offers from two of the most prestigious universities in the world.

Maria Charisma Estrella of Silang, Cavite, has been offered admission to New York University (NYU) for a dual degree program for BS Biology and BS Biomolecular Engineering with a scholarship grant; and Yale-NUS College in Singapore with inclined interest toward molecular, cellular, and developmental biology.

NYU is one of the largest and most competitive private universities in the US, while Yale-NUS is a liberal arts college established by Yale University and the National University of Singapore (NUS).

A member of PSHS-Calabarzon’s pioneer batch of students who graduated in May, Estrella described her educational journey so far as “both a mixture of challenge and fulfillment.”

Her family was among thousands of Filipinos whose source of income was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, but she refused to let this stop her from achieving her dream of becoming a doctor-researcher.

“In that way, it’s possible to discover more cure for diseases that can open an avenue to greater research potential and accessibility to healthcare,” she told GMA News Online.

Estrella was yet to arrive at a final decision as of Tuesday, but she was honored and grateful to be considered by the prestigious institutions as someone who could contribute to their community.

She also had a message for her fellow students who continued to prioritize education amid the pandemic.

“To all students who are having a hard time at school or for those who are stressed, tired, burned out, and overall struggling with online class, don’t worry because you’re not alone,” she said.

“The struggle is ultimately real with the new setup, not to mention the different environments that are sometimes not really conducive to learning,” she added.

“But I hope that in these lowest times, they get the motivation and drive to take risks, trust the process, and study hard by doing their best,” Estrella said in Filipino.

The Philippine Science High School System extended its congratulations to Estrella on Tuesday, along with thousands of Facebook users inspired by her hard work and dedication. – RC, GMA News

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