Durham woman competes on 'America's Next Top Model'

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Ivana West will be on America's Next Top Model.

Twenty-three year old Ivana West from Durham was recently chosen to appear on '"Americas Next Top Model."

Tyra Banks has described her as a girl who has "the mind of a genius and the hips of the sexiest woman you've ever seen."

West attended the NC School of Science and Math for a year then went back to public school, graduating valedictorian from Southern School of Engineering in Durham.

She later attended Hampton University on a full ride where she obtained a bachelor's degree in psychology. After graduating, she was named a winner of the prestigious Schwarzman Scholarship, an international award that paid for a year of study at Schwarzman College, Tsinghua University, in Beijing, China. She was two months away from earning a Master's degree in Global Affairs.

During her time in China, she submitted an audition video for "Americas Next Top Model," and Banks recognized her talent immediately.

West was selected for interviews, and eventually got to compete. However, if West wanted to stay in the competition, she had to put her degree on hold one month before her graduation.

"It was really hard because the scholarship was a three percent acceptance rate, and Michelle Obama had congratulated us because we were the first class of scholars to get that scholarship," she said. "I really wanted to find a way to do both."

Choosing between her degree and the competition wasn't an option for West, and her decision to stay in the competition was a hard one.

"America's Next Top Model" airs Tuesdays at 8 pm on VH1.
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