A teen from Niagara Falls, Ont. “was in shock” after she received her acceptance letter to a university many only dream of attending. 

Emily Hunter will be wearing the crimson of Harvard University in August.  

“I was in shock because it’s so hard,” Hunter told CTV News Toronto. “This year was a 5.2 per cent acceptance rate.”

More than 40,000 people applied to Harvard this year and despite the low odds of actually securing a spot along with a rigorous application process, the Grade 12 student says she never gave up.

Hunter first aspired to attend the Ivy League school after touring its campus during a family trip to Boston when she was 15-years-old.

Since then, she has taken part in several extra-curricular activities to increase her chances.

She spent most of her time out of the classroom helping others.

Hunter participated in everything from tutoring math and science, to the Mayor’s youth advisory committee, to sitting on student and the athletic’s councils at the high school and serving in lung cancer research at Brock University.

“Lots of them are very bright, lots of them are very active in school, but very few can show that level of maturity, that sort of makes them pop out as a standout kid,” said Francesca Caruso-Leitch, one of Hunter’s teachers. 

Her attendance at Harvard is more than just a big deal for her family, who are her biggest supporters.

 “You want your child to go to school and then you want them to get the education, the job and the career, but chances are this is going to open up a lot of doors for her,” said her father Jarrod Hunter.

Hunter plans to be the first person in her family to ever receive a post-secondary degree.

She plans to study medicine.

“I’m excited to meet everyone and be in a totally different environment from what I have in high school,” she explained. “It’ll be interesting, I’m excited.”