I dreamed of attending Harvard since I was 12 years-old. Back then I knew fairly little about the university beyond its most discussed attributes: old, storied, and prestigious. That was enough for me. In middle school, I devised a plan to get there by any means necessary. It wasn't until I arrived on campus, that I realized what a true privilege it is to spend each day sitting beside and learning from some of the most brilliant minds in the world.

Ask a Harvard grad, and they'll likely tell you the best part about Harvard is the people. They'll amaze and inspire you everyday. Ellie Hylton is one of those phenomenal people. A member of the Harvard College Class of 2013. She was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Society in the fall, and she graduated summa cum laude with a degree in sociology and the highest GPA in her class. For that distinction, Harvard awarded her the Sophia Freund Prize.

On a personal note, Ellie possesses a kind, humble spirit that makes her joy to engage with her. She'd never mention it, but she comes from a family full of Harvard alums including her aunt Soledad O'Brien. 

I asked Ellie a few questions about her time at Harvard.

Kimberly Foster: Both of your parents are Harvard College alums. When did you decide you wanted to attend? 

Ellie Hyton: My parents never pushed Harvard. I did visits at several schools during my senior year of high school, and I eventually did an overnight visit with the track team at Harvard. I really liked the people that I met during that overnight trip (I met one of my current best friends on that trip!). Overall, I felt that the campus was alive with friendly and interesting people, so I went with my gut and chose Harvard