Despite the challenges students faced throughout the school year due to the pandemic, many didn't let that stop them from achieving their goals.
Two students in the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District have been accepted to multiple prestigious universities.
"It always takes just a little bit of luck, so to know your hard work paid off and you got that little roll the dice, that little luck, is an amazing feeling,” said Claire Alford, Righetti High School senior.
Luck from hard work, that's what 17-year-old Alford says got her to where she is now -- a long list of acceptance letters from many prestigious Ivy league schools and other universities.
The Righetti High senior says there were moments she struggled during distance learning but she isn’t letting that stop her from reaching her goal of becoming a doctor.
"Yeah I think, you know, myself as well as everyone during distance learning, it was definitely a shock to get used to at the beginning just diving right in with no preparation whatsoever,” she said.
Alford is an avid golfer and is in clubs like Culture Community and Cuisine, mentors leadership camps, and does community service among many other great things.
Over at Santa Maria High School, senior Andres Ramirez-Enriquez, received acceptance letters from Harvard, Yale, Brown, and Cornell University.
He is involved in AVID, Youth Making Change, Society of Hispanic Engineers, and much more.
In a statement, Ramirez said, "Being first-generation has been a challenge, but my parents immigrated from Mexico for this exact goal. I hope that my journey can inspire the next generations of my community."
He says he's narrowed his choices down to Harvard and Yale.
His major is still undecided but he’s planning on using his first two years to explore different fields.
Alford also hasn't chosen the school she wants to attend but says wherever she ends up will be a great experience.
"She's done all of this on her own, and I just want her to continue on that journey and be proud of who she is and follows her heart,” said Dana Alford, Claire's mother.
Both students say they look forward to making the tough but exciting decision very soon.