Chantelle Gary said her daughter, Normandie Alise Cormier, has always been an “ambitious kid.” At 18, Cormier has already tutored 146 adults, helping them pass exams to obtain their high school equivalency diploma or gain entry into graduate school.
Cormier, however, set another ambitious standard this month. After graduating with double honors from both Early College Academy and South Louisiana Community College in Lafayette, Cormier has been accepted into more than 139 colleges and five medical schools, including international institutions in Spain, Italy, Switzerland and South Africa, according to a news release Tuesday (May 28).
Cormier also received a collective total of $8.7 million in scholarship offers, including 17 full rides, according to the release. In a statement, Cormier said she’s planning to attend Xavier University due to its reputation as the top producer of black doctors nationwide.
“It’s been a long journey with lots of obstacles but with a positive mindset, everything I put my mind to was within reach,” Cormier stated.
Cormier told The Acadiana Advocate she applied to dozens of schools through the Common Application and the Common Black College Application. She plans to enroll at Xavier in the fall to complete her bachelor’s degree on a pre-med track, with the goal of becoming a surgeon. Cormier credits her success to her single mother, who homeschooled Cormier along with her brother, according to the release.
Cormier not only overcame poverty and bullying, but she was also bedridden in a hospital a few months before graduation. The Advocate reported Cormier developed an immune system disorder at age 2 that led to frequent hospital stays while she was growing up.
Cormier has also immersed herself in entrepreneurship since the age of 12, according to the release. In high school, she started three initiatives focused on tutoring and youth mentoring, and she was only 15 when she presented her first business seminar in Las Vegas alongside her mother, according to the release.
Cormier received recognitions of academic excellence from U.S. Presidents Barack Obama in 2015 and Donald Trump in 2018, according to the release. This summer she will be honored at a ceremony in California with a GE-Reagan Foundation scholarship and award of $40,000 in memory of former President Ronald Reagan. Cormier will also receive a Community Champion award this July.
“It’s such a surreal feeling knowing there’s light before the end of the tunnel and it starts with being humble and counting every blessing,” Cormier stated.