Daria Rose, a Sacred Heart High School senior, has received 14 acceptance letters to colleges across the country, including 7 Ivy League schools. Even more impressively, her acceptance comes after she and her family lost everything and had to rebuild their lives following Hurricane Sandy.

“It’s hard being a teenager and losing all these clothes and makeup and jewelry,” Rose said of her family’s situation after the hurricane destroyed their home and everything they had. “We had to move form hotel to hotel. We stayed with my grandmother for a couple of months, then moved back to a hotel.”

Still, Rose said never gave up. “It’s easy to say I’m just going to lay here in a ball and cry and wallow in my own self pity,” her mother, Katrina Brooks, said. “I’d make sure she’d get up and put one foot in front of the other.”