Aya Osman, an African-American high school student from Orange Park, Florida, who is 18 years old and has been fighting cancer for the past two years, has finished from high school. She will also go to NYU for free thanks to a full grant.
Osman has wanted to be a neurologist since she was 12 years old. When she was told she had cancer, it was almost put on hold. But instead of worrying too much about the future, she kept her attention on the moment and took things step by step.
To get rid of the growth in her arm, she had to go through six months of chemotherapy every three weeks and three-day hospital stays. Even so, she didn’t let cancer run her life. Instead, she kept herself busy with schoolwork and other things.
“It helped me get my mind off of things, whether it was playing the piano or doing schoolwork,” Osman told Clay Today. “It helps stop the bad effects of such a good finding. It makes you feel better and helps you think about something else.
Her mother brought her a laptop to the hospital so she could keep up with her schoolwork while she was getting care. She followed her International Baccalaureate routine carefully, and doctors kept an eye on how she was doing.
“I did everything on my laptop,” said Aya. “Just so you know, when I was in the hospital bed, the nurses would come in and check my heart rate, temperature, and other things. When I was trying to finish an IB history or English essay quickly or was distracted by schoolwork, being able to concentrate on something else really helped.”
All of her hard work and commitment paid off, and she got an impressive 4.77 GPA when she graduated from Ridgeview High School in Summa Cum Laude.
She was also given a scholarship to go to New York University by the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation, an organization that helps children with cancer in both material and emotional ways.
Aya no longer has cancer and has been in remission for 2 years. She plans to use the grant to study biology at New York University.