Phoenix high school grad accepted into 48 colleges, earns $1M in scholarships

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Eden Jenkins received more than a $1 million in scholarships. (Source: Phoenix Union High School District Facebook page)Eden Jenkins applied to 62 schools and got into 48 of them. (Source: Phoenix Union High School District Facebook page) Eden Jenkins received more than a $1 million in scholarships. (Source: Phoenix Union High School District Facebook page)Eden Jenkins applied to 62 schools and got into 48 of them. (Source: Phoenix Union High School District Facebook page)
Eden Jenkins earned more than one million dollars in college scholarships. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Eden Jenkins earned more than one million dollars in college scholarships. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Eden wants to be a pharmacist. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Eden wants to be a pharmacist. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
LAVEEN, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

High school seniors across the Valley are getting ready to graduate.

Next, they have to think about college, if they chose to go, and how to pay for it.

One Phoenix student already has that all figured out. She got into four dozen colleges and earned more scholarships by herself than most entire graduating classes. 

With her cap and gown pressed and ready, 17-year-old Eden Jenkins of Betty Fairfax High School in Laveen is saying goodbye to high school.

"I'm kind of going to miss being in high school with all my friends," said Eden. 

She's getting ready to graduate in her school's ceremony on Thursday night at the Arizona State Fairgrounds Coliseum. 

It's a transition she's been working hard toward for four years. 

"I just basically took a lot of math and science classes and I made sure to take honors and do the rigorous courses," said Eden

Eden wants to be a pharmacist. She needed to get into a good school.

So she applied to 53 historically black colleges and universities, via the Common Black College Application, three additional HBCUs, three Arizona universities and three Ivy League universities.

That's a total of 62 schools. 

She got into 48 of them, and more acceptance letters are still being delivered to her home. 

"I didn't think it was going to be so many schools," said Eden. "And I didn't think it would be a big deal like it is." 

And with those acceptance letters also came scholarship money. 

"We stopped counting after a million because it was a lot," said Eden. 

With a lot of options and more than $1 million to choose from, Eden has made her pick. 

 In the fall, she'll attend Xavier University of Louisiana on a full ride scholarship. 

Her parents are thrilled. 

"Very proud, but she deserves all the credit because she's always had a tenacity as well as a desire to learn and she loves learning," said Eden's father, Courtney Jenkins. 

He says the scholarships are a big help too. Eden has two older siblings who both graduated from law school just two weekends ago.

"Her mother's a teacher, I'm a firefighter, our access to funds are a little limited," said Courtney.  

Having successfully secured her future, Eden has some advice for the younger classes.

"If you're feeling like you need extra help or something, don't be scared to go into tutoring or ask for extra help," she said. "It doesn't always have to be the bare minimum. Strive for the best."

After all that hard work, Eden plans to spend this summer relaxing with family before moving away for college. 

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Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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Lauren ReimerLauren Reimer joined the 3TV/CBS 5 family in June 2016. She is originally from Racine, WI but is no stranger to our heat.

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Lauren Reimer

She previously worked for KVOA in Tucson, covering topics that matter to Arizonans including the monsoon, wildfires and border issues. During the child migrant crisis of 2014, Reimer was one of only a handful of journalists given access to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility in Nogales, where hundreds of unaccompanied children were being held after crossing into the U.S. from Central America. Before that, Reimer worked at WREX in Rockford, IL. Lauren is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and still visits home often. When not chasing news stories, Reimer loves to explore, enjoying everything from trying new adventurous foods to visiting state and national parks or local places of historical significance.

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