HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Hawaii valedictorian won’t have to worry about paying for college thanks to her hard work.
Arianna Bow graduated at the top of her class last month at La Pietra-Hawaii School for Girls, but it wasn’t always easy.
She started there in the sixth grade after attending Koko Head Elementary.
Even with financial assistance from the private school, coming up with the tuition was tough for her family.
“I kind of come from a different financial background than a lot of the people that I was going to school with,” said Bow. “They would be able to go on fancy vacations, have nice clothes and things like that, and I was kind of cycling through hand-me-downs.”
Bow hit a rough patch in seventh grade when her parents divorced.
“I started to experience anxiety attacks on kind of a regular basis. I was having them at school, and that was distracting and difficult,” she said.
But she persevered with the support of her family, friends and teachers.
She earned a 4.08 GPA and received a full-ride scholarship to Bowdoin College in Maine. She was also awarded a coveted Gates Scholarship that will cover her transportation costs and other expenses.
“We told her when we first looked at La Pietra that that was going to be a bit of a push for us, and that we would gladly do that as long as she held up her end and put herself to the task,” said Wayne Bow, Arianna’s father. “She blew doors off any expectations that I had.”
The 17-year-old standout has a bright future ahead of her. Arianna Bow plans to study clinical psychology to help others.
“If you put in the effort and you put in that work and you have that drive, you can do anything,” she said.
Bow plans to depart for college in August.
“We’re always going to be proud of her, and and we’re always going to push her forward and celebrate her successes,” said her mother, Stacey Bow.