Roanoke student getting full ride to Yale

High school orchestra setting students apart from other applicants

ROANOKE, Va. – Hundreds of students will graduate Wednesday from Roanoke City Schools.

Maya Ingram plays three instruments, she sings and she's been in the theater. The Patrick Henry Governor's School senior is also valedictorian.

"I'm really excited about it. It feels a little surreal. It hasn't set in yet, I guess," said Ingram, who is going to Yale in the fall on a full scholarship. "I had been checking all day for it to come out and when I read it I screamed, I fell on the floor and then I cried. I called my parents. It was a really good moment."

She visited Yale and fell in love with the Gothic architecture.

"I think it will be cool to go to a school where everyone is the best in whatever they do," said the senior.

"A lot of times these schools are looking for people who are really good at one thing. I've done a lot of music-related things. I feel like that set me apart from people who are just strong academically."

"Maya is an amazing student," said Melissa Fischer, Roanoke Valley Governor's School calculus teacher, who taught her over two years the equivalent of three college calculus classes.

Fischer says the senior is well-rounded.

"I think it inspires others to do well, just like she has and to reach for those goals and that they're not necessarily impossible for other students," said Fischer.

Maya has no plans of stopping her musical passion while she majors in history at Yale.

"I've done so much in high school I definitely feel like I'm going to do a lot in college as well," said Ingram.

The school system says more of their graduates are getting into schools because of how unique being in the orchestra is. There aren't a lot of high school orchestras, so that sets them apart.

Ingram got her scholarship through the QuestBridge program.

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