Million Dollar Scholar

Million Dollar Scholar
By: Erica Byfield

Lone Oak, KY - High school graduation is right around the corner for many heartland seniors, and most students get their diploma at 18 and have to worry about being in debt when it's all over.

But that's not the case for one western Kentucky teen; you could call her the "million dollar scholar".

Sara Chen loves the arts, whether this concert mistress is playing classical tunes on the piano or making the violin sing, she's a musical stand out.

But these days her artistic talent isn't the only reason to gasp, on paper she's also worth a million dollars.

All of the letters addressed to the six teen year-old Paducah Tilghman senior have an estimated value of more than a million dollars.

She only applied to eleven universities, the other note worthy institutions found her.

"For the ones I didn't apply to around 844,000 to the ones I did apply to 350,000 or so," said Chen.

Of the eleven, eight gave Sara the "ok".

"I got into Duke, Rochester, Brown, John Hopkins, Washington University in Saint Louis, University of Louisville, University of Kentucky and Vanderbilt which is where I'm going to go," said Chen.

Wonder why?

"I was offered a full tuition scholarship renewable for 4 years so that's a really nice batch of money and it's a great school," said Chen.

Sara wasn't accepted to Stanford or Yale, and Harvard placed her on the waiting list.

But her mother tells me couldn't hope for more achievement, from the awards that adorn her wall to the medals that dangle from their fireplace.

"I'm really proud of here because everyday she's working very hard and she's is trying to handle all the activities she has and she's trying to be a good role model for her sister," Sharlene Wang.

Sara adds she hopes her scholastic success inspires other heartland students to reach for the stars.

"I want to be a doctor and that's always been my dream to become a doctor. I'm not sure what specialty yet but I did see an open heart surgery and I really like that," said Chen.

Although the school year is winding down, Sara still has one more honor to accept, she's also valedictorian of the class of 2006.

She's is also a national merit scholar and says she couldn't have reached this level of success with out the advice and guidance of her School Counselor Ms. Carolyn Martin.