Jaidyn Probst made history earlier this year.
The 2019 Redwood Valley High School graduate has accomplished something no one from her community has ever done.
Probst has been accepted and will be attending Harvard University this fall.
As far as anyone has been able to determine, the Lower Sioux Community has never had anyone attend Harvard.
Probst understands the significance of what has happened, although she will admit that the reality has still not completely sunk in yet.
“It has been my dream since I was little to go to Harvard,” said Probst, adding she started getting more serious about the idea as a sophomore.
Probst said she applied last November, adding she kind of forgot about it after that – not thinking she had much of a chance to get accepted.
Probst applied to one other school, the Rochester campus of the University of Minnesota and was accepted there. Probst began planning to go to Rochester, but along the way discovered she was in the running for acceptance into Harvard and then had an interview in January with a Harvard grad in Marshall.
Again, she was pretty sure the chances would be slim that she would be accepted.
“My plans quickly changed,” said Probst, who received word March 28 that she had been accepted.
Prior to making her final decision, which had to be done by May 1, Probst paid a visit to the campus adding she was very impressed with what she experienced.
“It is right in the middle of the city, which I really liked,” said Probst, adding the buildings there are more like museums because of the rich history and tradition that comes with being at Harvard.
Probst said Ivy League schools, like Harvard, take a more holistic approach when they consider an applicant, adding she thinks her involvement in a variety of community and leadership roles, along with her academics, played a role in their decision to accept her.
As a high-school student, Probst has been involved in a variety of activities, including NHS and UNITY, and she served as president of both of those organizations as a senior. She also served as a youth ambassador for the Lower Sioux Community, attended monthly health and human services advisory committee meetings for her community and was appointed to serve on the Minnesota Tribal Youth Gathering steering team by then governor, Mark Dayton.
Last summer, Probst completed a STEP-UP internship and was able to present at the National Institutes of Health, and became a published researcher. This past October, she was also appointed by Gov. Mark Dayton to join the Minnesota Young Women's Initiative Cabinet, which is comprised of 25 women and non-binary folks, ages 16-24.
Recently, in May, Probst was honored to join the National Young Women’s Advisory Council, which is similar to the Minnesota Cabinet, just on a national scale with people from all around the country.
“We had our first meeting for the National Council in May in Atlanta, where we got to meet everyone who was accepted and attend the In Solidarity We Rise conference,” added Probst.
Probst said she leaves for Harvard Aug. 20, admitting she is pretty excited about the idea of being at Harvard.
She will sign up for classes during her first week on campus, adding she will not have to declare a major until her sophomore year.
However, her plan is to study neuroscience with the hope of furthering her education at medical school with the ultimate plan becoming a pediatrician. Probst added she is hoping to get involved with Harvard's Pre-Medical Society, as well as the art club to have a fun stress reliever during the week.
Probst said the whole idea of being at Harvard this coming fall is very surreal, but she is confident she has been well prepared for what comes next.