SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – A Nansemond River High School senior is proof that hard work pays off.

Courtney Toran has been accepted into more than two-dozen colleges and universities, and, if that isn’t enough, she’s also received more than $700,000 in scholarships.

She’s not just a star student, she’s also an All-American cheerleader and the senior class president.

“This is a very life changing experience,” Courtney said.

Nansemond River High School in Suffolk has a wall showing all the colleges and universities that students have been accepted to, and Courtney’s name is on there multiple times.

She has been accepted to Spelman College, Salem College, Old Dominion University, Virginia Commonwealth University and about 20 others.

“It makes me feel proud of myself,” she said.

Courtney said originally she wanted to go to VCU, then she just kept applying from there.

“I just feel like I’m very blessed with all these opportunities that I have and it’s made it a little difficult to choose what college I’m going to,” Courtney said.

But she has decided.


Drumroll please …

She’s heading to Regent University to study psychology.

“Over quarantine there were incidents going on such as George Floyd that really motivated me to understand why people think the way that they think,” Courtney said.

Courtney’s principal, Dr. Shawn Green, said Courtney has always challenge herself by taking advanced courses.

So much so, that in addition to her high school diploma, she’s graduating with an associate’s degree.

“Typically out of the 400 students, we may have one or two, so she definitely stands out,” Green said.

The wall of colleges at Nansemond River where students have been accepted is to showcase their moving on to different colleges, trade schools or the military, Green said.

“It’s now to the point where we are backlogged trying to get all the schools up,” Green said.

Each year Nansemond River also keeps track of the amount all students have received in scholarship money, and they announce it at graduation.

Green said it usually totals between $3 million and $8 million.

Courtney said getting her name up on the wall multiple times wouldn’t have been possible without the support of her friends, family and especially, her dad.

“He’s told me that every time that I say that I can’t, I have to do it, and I can,” Courtney said. “We have a quote in our house that says ‘Do what you want to do, so you can do what you have to do.’ It’s a quote by Denzel Washington, and that’s been my motivation ever since.”