19-year-old Yolanda survivor bags MIT scholarship to become an astrophysicist

MANILA, Philippines – A 19-year-old science genius has bagged a scholarship from a prestigious school in the United States.

Hillary Diane Andales headlined in 2017 when she won the Breakthrough Junior Challenge. The event was hosted at no less than the NASA’s Ames Research Facility.

19-year-old Yolanda survivor bags MIT scholarship to become an astrophysicist
Hillary Diane Andales is now on her way to MIT | Photo Courtesy: Hillaron

Andales' video on Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity beat over 11,000 competitors all over the world.

Since then, many doors have opened for the teen achiever. Andales admitted that winning the $250,000 scholarship prize from the Challenge made her apply for a scholarship grant in the United States.

And beaming in pride, Andales announced she finally got accepted to the scholarship grant of the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Andales shared she hasn't decided yet on what major she'll be taking but will be sure it will be related to astrophysics.

Andales said, "Ultimately, I want to become a research scientist, specifically in astrophysics."

No ordinary princess

The daughter of a chemist father and an accountant mom, Andales grew up with a fondness for Science and Math.

Growing up, Andales' childhood dreams were filled with brilliant scientists instead of princesses.

"Instead of fairy tales, they told me stories of Marie Curie's struggles as a woman in science in the early 20th century. They told me about Charles Darwin's adventures in the Galapagos Islands and how Einstein had a really big idea that revolutionized physics," she said.

Because of these stories, the then young child learned that there are people who can change the world.

Yolanda survivor

Back in 2013, when Typhoon Yolanda created havoc in Visayas, Andales was one of those who prayed to the heavens to survive.

Andales and her family held on to the steel trusses of their house's roof for seven hours to survive. It was at that point she realized how important science communication was.

The young science enthusiast admitted she felt disappointed because, "Even though I was already interested in Science, I didn't know what a storm surge was."

Andales realized that there's a big flaw in the process of science communication in the country because many people didn't know what a storm surge was.

Incoming MIT freshie

And Andales must thank her lucky stars because she's now on her way to making her dreams a reality in MIT.

The incoming freshman is currently on a "gap year" because school year in US will start in August 2019. Andales said she'll be using the whole year to explore and do a lot of self-learning.

— Sally, The Summit Express

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