Harold Ekeh, Victor Agbafe, Pooja Chandrashekhar, Kwasi Enin, Munira Khalif and Stefan Stoykov are among the handful of high school students who have been accepted into all eight Ivy League schools and each of them has one thing in common – they are all children of immigrants.
Getting into the eight Ivy League schools – Harvard University, Yale University, Dartmouth College, Brown University, Cornell University, University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University and Princeton University – is just a dream for most high school students. And while these students are not the first to achieve this feat, their stories surely make their accomplishment an extraordinary one.
Harold Ekeh moved to the US with his parents, Paul and Roseline, as an eight-year old from Nigeria and since then, has only taken on every challenge to be the best that he could be. Now, as an 18-year old, he has gained acceptance into all the 13 colleges he applied to, though he’s leaning towards Yale. So how did he celebrate his achievement? “I went to Chipotle with my friends for a half steak half chicken burrito bowl. It was perfect,” says Ekeh.
Another student who made it into all eight colleges, Victor Agbafe, also has a Nigerian connection. The 17-year old worked hard to achieve his dream of becoming a neurosurgeon, a dream he came across when he learned that Michael J. Fox suffered from the ill effects of Parkinson’s disease when he was only 29. This drove Agbafe to find a way to get to a place where he could do more.
Pooja Chandrashekhar, another 17-year old, has a similar story. The daughter of engineers from Bangalore, India, Pooja is among the brightest students at the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria. Scoring 2,390 out of 2,400 on her SAT is an unbelievable achievement on its own, but pales in comparison to all that Pooja has already achieved. From founding a national non-profit organization that inspires middle school girls to participate in the STEM program, to developing a mobile app that helps pinpoint whether a person is affected by Parkinson’s or not, this one has already done so much in so little time! Kerry Hamlin, her guidance counselor had this to say about her, “She’s taking the hardest courses, the most challenging that we offer, and has exceeded anyone’s expectations in all of them.”
Then there are the stories of Kwasi Enin, whose parents were from Ghana, Munira Khalif, the daughter of immigrants from Somalia, and Stefan Stoykov, whose parents came to the US from Bulgaria.
Each of these students has explored every opportunity that they had access to, and now, are reaping the rewards for all their hard work. Being accepted into all eight Ivy League schools is no small feat and doing so while trying to fit into a new environment is even more commendable.
Kudos to these young achievers, and we’re sure to hear a lot more amazing things about them in the years to come!
Featured image (Harold Ekeh) via nypost (Victor Alcorn)