We know that almost all of us had to overcome something to get to Columbia, but let’s be honest: some had to overcome more than others.

As the first example of this, the New York Times presents Carrie Montgomery, a new member of the class of 2013, and one of twelve Times scholars this year. Despite growing up in the South Bronxwith 9 siblings and an ailing single mom, Montgomery maintained a 95.6 average in four years at the Bronx School for Law, Government, and Justice, and now joins a group of 12 that will recieve $30,000, a laptop, and (perhaps just as precious in this economy) a guaranteed internship at the Times.

The Times reports that Carrie wants to be a lawyer, and hopes to write an autobiography some day to encourage young people like herself to work hard and succeed despite their backgrounds. We’d say she’s off to a good start. (photo via the Times)