Ms Aalekhya Reddam's hard work paid off when she was named in this year's edition of Who's Who Among Students In American Universities And Colleges.
"To know that this is a national award and that I, an international student, received it makes me feel like I made the best of my university experience," said the Singaporean, who studied at NPS International School from age 14 to 18.
According to the programme's website, this "exclusive honour" is conferred annually by over 1,000 universities and colleges as well as graduate and PhD programmes across the United States. The student recognition scheme picks a select group of candidates based on their leadership, academic achievement and community service.
Ms Reddam, 21, a final-year student at the University of Miami, said she was never contacted about applying for the programme. but was informed on March 10 that she had been inducted.
Candidates are nominated by their school's committee, comprising faculty, administration and student body representatives.
The programme, also known as Who's Who Among Students, was set up in 1934.
Ms Reddam said: "It was great to be acknowledged for my academic work and leadership roles, and to know that my mentors and advisers believed in me."
Her family, who "top the list of people she would like to thank for helping her stay grounded", could not join her for the awards ceremony, held on Tuesday at the University of Miami.
Her father, Mr Reddiam Raghu Ram, 51, who works in human resources at Royal Dutch Shell, said the award underlines her ability to juggle and excel in various activities. She is a leadership facilitator in her school's student government, and a resident assistant for housing and residential life.
"She is unique in the way she can connect with people at all levels and of all nationalities," he said.
Her leadership accolades include being named 2016 University of Miami Student Leader of the Year, which she described as her proudest achievement.
She was also inducted into her school's Iron Arrow Honour Society last year - "the highest honour attained" there, according to the society's website.
The marine science and biology student has done research at the National University of Singapore's Reef Ecology Lab and her current university's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.