It’s safe to say Makenzie Thompson is going places. The 18-year-old, who lives in South Fulton, Georgia, has been accepted to 49 colleges along with $1.3 million in scholarship offers.
On Wednesday, Thompson talked to TODAY co-anchors Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb about the secret to her success. And it’s only fitting that the teen appeared virtually from a high school classroom.
“I think that my applications stood out because of my extracurricular activities and how involved I am in school,” Thompson shared.
The high school senior is class president, co-captain of the dance team and manages the varsity baseball team. She’s also a member of the national honor society and vice president of Beta Club, a community service organization.
“I think my extracurriculars really show how well rounded I am,” Thompson explained.
When asked about her parents, Thompson described them as “very supportive.”
“They don’t expect perfection out of me, but they do expect my best effort,” she noted.
Thompson chose Tuskegee University, a historically Black school in Alabama.
“They really embraced me once I went on campus,” she said. “It felt like a home away from home.”
Tuskegee is also known for its animal science program, which was a huge draw for Thompson, who wants to become a veterinarian.
“They produce 70% of all Black veterinarians,” she explained. “So it’s the best take for me.”