BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Being accepted into an Ivy league school is just a dream for most high school graduates but for a Mexican immigrant from Bakersfield it was extra special.

This is how Indiana Vargas Avellan found out she was accepted into one of the most prestigious schools in the world, Harvard.

“I was in a state of shock. My head started pounding and a rush of emotions came. I felt like I was getting flashbacks from when I was a little kid,” Indiana Vargas said.

Indiana was born in Villahermosa in the Mexican state of Tabasco and raised in Monterrey, Nuevo León.

Her proud parents say they’ve always known Indiana would become a successful woman.

“She was always curious and intelligent. She showed interest in the second world war. She was passionate about history,” her father Eric Vargas said.

When Indiana was 9 years old, her parents migrated to the United States, in hopes of providing better opportunities for the family. 

“Once I came to the United States and I came to Bakersfield, I really pushed myself hard to get better at English, get better in my studies.”

Time flew by and before she knew it, it was time to choose a high school. In her case, it was Bakersfield Christian in Southwest Bakersfield.

“The majority of my time here I did Ted talk show choir, and I also had the opportunity to listen to a lot of instructors and teachers of meaning, inspiring me to continue my education. 

Now, looking back as a high school senior, she says one of her hardest obstacles has turned out to be one of her biggest blessings.

“I think the opportunities I had to learn English as a kid from going to cumad, tutoring, just dedicating so many hours as a kid really disciplined me to later continue that on when I was growing up.’

Indiana will graduate as valedictorian with an amazing 4.8 GPA.

“We support her and we encourage her to accomplish whatever she wants and she just did great, I mean, it’s beyond what we expect,” her mother Indiana Avellan said.

Indiana hopes to one day become an international or immigration lawyer, representing her Latin culture.

“I really hope to inspire more Latinos around the country, to apply to Harvard, dare to dream and continue on to better things, especially in their college education.”