According to media sources, Long Island, NY’s Elmont High School Salutatorian Harold Ekeh has a great future ahead of him as he managed to get accepted at all eight Ivy League schools: Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, and Yale University.
Considering how rare and major the accomplishment is, Ekeh’s good fortune is not lost on him.
“Absolutely shocked. It was as though I was hit repeatedly. I was stunned,” Ekeh told CBS2’s Chris Wragge, who mentioned that the teen’s family came to America eight years ago from their native Nigeria.
The humble beginnings of his family combined with a desire for education and making a meaningful mark on society served as inspirations for Ekeh, he says.
While Ekeh’s mother, Roseline, credits a higher power for what’s happening with her son (“I am just thanking god for what he is doing for my family in the life of my son”), his father Paul voiced how proud he was, saying, “I am overwhelmed. To say that I am proud is not enough, it is awesome.”
Ekeh’s road to Ivy League acceptance started early in his community with volunteering for social justice campaigns and academic mentoring, In addition, he got involved in sports and got elected to Elmont’s homecoming court and honor society. As noted by CBS2, Ekeh spent most of his years in high school working “intricate complicated biochemistry experiments.”
“Kids would say, ‘I want to be a firefighter or a police officer or a superhero.’ I would say I want to explore the human body, what makes us who we are,” he said, “I would like to be a neurosurgeon when I grow up.”
Although Ekeh is leaning towards Yale, the 17-year-old Long Island high schooler hasn’t made a final decision since he hasn’t visited the other Ivy League schools that have accepted him. Those visits are planned for next week.
News of Ekeh’s acceptance comes after his fellow Long Islander Kwasi Enin generated national headlines when he got accepted to all eight Ivy League schools in 2014. According to reports, Enin ultimately chose to attend Yale.
“I am very humbled by this. I see this as not an accomplishment for me, but as an accomplishment for my school, my community,” Ekeh said, “Because I really see this as my mission to inspire the next generation.”
To see CBS2’s report on Ekeh, check out the video below: