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The teenager is approved at 6 US universities to study astrophysics: ‘I’ve always been in love with the stars’

Ananda Figueiredo is from João Pessoa and has always won scholarships. Among the universities that selected it are Princeton, MIT, and Amherst College.

By Bruna Couto and Silvia Torres, G1 PB and TV Cabo Branco

04/17/2021 11h07 Updated há um mês

Paraiba is approved at six universities in the United States to study Astrophysics – Photo: Personal Archive.

Princeton, MIT, and four others among the best universities in the world. It is in one of them where 17-year-old Ananda Figueiredo, from Paraíba, is going to study. She won scholarship approval from six of the most renowned academic institutions in the United States to study astrophysics.

The student is a native of the Paraíba capital João Pessoa. She has always won scholarships for her excellent grades, and three years ago, she passed another selection. He moved to Orlando, Florida, in the United States, where he studied at Cypress Creek High School, a public school, through the International Baccalaureate (IB) program.

Since she was a child, Ananda demonstrated her aptitude for numbers and, from the garden of her home, in Paraíba, watching the sky, she saw a passion for the stars.

“I have always been in love with the stars, and when I was younger, my parents gave me an illustrated book on astronomy. I remember that I devoured that book, and I have decorated parts to this day. I had a great privilege to be able to dedicate myself to my passions ”, he comments.

Paraiba is approved at six universities in the United States to study astrophysics – Photo: Personal Archive / Ananda Figueiredo.

In addition to good grades, Ananda won Olympics in chemistry, physics, and mathematics. She also dreamed of becoming an actress. She even got approved in artistic schools and lived in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro to dedicate herself to her career. Still, she decided to deepen her studies in astronomy, focusing on approval in large educational institutions.

At the end of high school, the student obtained the first and excellent result: she was selected to study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), one of the most renowned in the world. But it did not stop there. Five more North American institutions were willing to have her as a student.

Princeton, MIT, Catholic University Of America (Honors Program), Amherst College, University of Florida, Florida Institute of Technology. There are six options to choose from, and a dream comes true.

“It was a very exciting, fantastic moment. It is like looking at your whole life and thinking: wow, I really achieved this goal that I worked so hard to achieve “, says Ananda.

Ananda’s mother, Maria Eduarda Figueiredo, says that she has always done everything to provide the best study possibilities. Despite cultural and financial difficulties, the family managed to make a dream come true.

“It was her dream, and people who are mothers dream their children’s dreams. Since she started going to school, she has always had this ‘impossible dream.’ Today she is in a very summarized group worldwide, and we are very happy, especially for her happiness ”, says the student’s mother.

Ananda with her parents, Maria Eduarda and Aníbal Júnior – Photo: Personal Archive / Ananda Figueiredo

Due to the pandemic of the new coronavirus, Ananda is taking virtual classes and dedicates 14 hours of study daily, being 7 hours to attend classes and the rest to carry out activities. The student’s father, Aníbal Júnior, with whom she lives in the United States, is also very proud of her daughter’s achievements.

“Every tear, every drop of sweat shed in that time, was worth it because [Ananda’s] dream was fulfilled. So if you also have a dream like that, believe me ”, says the father.

The university proposals are being analyzed by the student, who confesses to being between MIT and Princeton. According to Ananda, the goal is to continue conquering the world, always thinking about obtaining new results and contributing to the future of science.

“I have a lot more to live for. I intend to continue my career doing a Ph.D. in astrophysics. I want to be a teacher, a researcher … It’s just the beginning ”, he concludes.

Paraiba is approved at six universities in the United States to study Astrophysics – Photo: Personal Archive / Ananda Figueiredo.


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