Despite Latinas being a fierce breed, many of them understand that being a woman and person of color comes with disadvantages. New Yorker Chelsea Batista acknowledged this when she applied to 18 medical schools in hopes of getting into one.

But she was caught completely off-guard when she was accepted into 11 schools.

“I was absolutely surprised,” the 21-year-old told The Huffington Post in an email. “When I received my first acceptance, I was golden. When more acceptances started coming in, I was astounded.”

Batista, who is a senior at Macaulay Honors College at CUNY Brooklyn College, was accepted into Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York University, Tufts University School of Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Drexel University College of Medicine, Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Howard University College of Medicine, SUNY Downstate College of Medicine, and SUNY Stony Brook School of Medicine.

Two unknown schools have offered her full-tuition scholarships. 

Although she was terrified that she couldn’t get into any school, she remained optimistic.

She told The Huffington Post:

“I was absolutely terrified that I wasn’t going to get into even one school. That’s why I filled out so many applications. Even with that fear, though, I made sure to aim high. I always said, the worst they can say is no, and it’s automatically a no anyway if I never apply. So I did.”

Batista’s parents immigrated from the Dominican Republic and have always held high academic expectations for her. 

“They grew up in large, low-income families and yet both managed to become the first in their families to get college degrees,” she told the CUNY Newswire

The Latina understood that her gender and ethnicity would play an important role in her dream of becoming a doctor, but that didn't stop her.

Instead, she fully embraced it.

“I am proud of my background and I am proud of what I have overcome to get here,” she told The Huffington Post. “I am proud because, in spite of the disadvantages I may have been born into, I never let that stop me from pursing my goals.”

As for affirmative action critics, she wanted them to know that she accomplished this incredible academic moment all on her own.

She told The Huffington Post:

“Several naysayers have attributed my successes to affirmative action, as opposed to disciple and hard work. At some points, I had to remind myself that I earned these accomplishments. That I worked just as hard as those around me and I had to break through a prominent glass ceiling to get here. I had to remind myself that I was not chosen because I am a Hispanic woman who fulfills the requirements. I was chosen because as a Hispanic woman, I had to struggle more obstacles and resistance than the typical medical school applicant and I still managed to excel.”

The Brooklyn native plans to stay close to her family by choosing a school in New York.

She wants to specialize in pediatric oncology. Batista hopes to give children a voice in their fight against serious illnesses like cancer, while also letting parents weigh in.

“I want to be the kind of physician that fights for each and every one of my patients,” she said