Although today’s generation is typically described to be liberal and progressive, the field of science and math is still a male-dominated field in 2023. That’s why we women are constantly in awe of up-and-coming female scientists like Hillary Diane Andales.
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Hailing from Visayas, Hillary became the first-ever Filipino winner of the Breakthrough Junior Challenge when she was only 18 years old. After outwitting thousands of fellow contestants with a self-produced video regarding relativity and the equivalence of reference frames, the Philippine Science High School - Eastern Visayas Campus graduate became an undergraduate scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Nearly four years later, Hillary is all set to graduate from MIT with a major in Physics and a minor in both Astronomy and Science, Technology, and Society. The best part: She also recently got admitted to the Astronomy doctoral program of not one, not two, not even three, but *seven* top universities in America!
Last week, the graduating student took to social media to announce her latest achievement and open up about all the challenges she faced as a student. “Now, after almost two decades of moving toward this dream, I have the privilege of getting paid to study galaxies for the next 6 years. The road getting here was tough. I moved away from my home in the Philippines to a foreign (yet wonderful) place that endlessly made me question myself,” she penned on Facebook.
“In my sophomore and junior years, I suffered through my physics classes, bombed some midterms, cried about my homework, and burned out,” she added. “I recognize how immensely privileged I am to be here. As a 5-year-old girl living in the small town of Abuyog, Leyte, I never imagined that this path was possible for me.”
According to her post, Hillary got accepted to Yale University, Stanford University, University of Chicago, Columbia University, Northwestern University, University of Michigan, University of Virginia, and Boston University. While she hasn’t decided on a university yet, we have no doubts that she’ll excel further in the future!
We’re so proud of you, Hillary!