Every year for the last 4 years, when results are released, I see our kids in Diaspora making a home run. As they get admitted into Ivy League schools in the States, their home countries loose out. The only thing left on most occasions is that African name that uniquely identifies them. I am excited for their successes, but deep down I wish we had the enabling environment back home that would attract them to invest their knowledge. It would be excellent if the government back home could take note of these excelling graduates and seek out a means for them to take over our ailing parastatals. An example of a typical success story that we could bring back home is Jessica Matthews that we featured previously – she is making the news for discovering other means of generating light. The powers that be should by now be discussing a way to harness her talent while she is still young, vibrant and full of ideas.
This write up examines the stories of 4 high school seniors that have achieved the monumental feat of getting accepted into the 8 famous American, Ivy League Schools – Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, Yale and Pennsylvania.
It all started in 2014, when Ghanaian Immigrant Kwasi Enin decided to apply to all eight universities as he wanted to better his chances of getting accepted by at least one. Teachers and family believed in Kwasi as he was an all-rounder with academic test scores that put him in the top one per cent of students, a keen athlete and musician. The shock for everyone therefore was that Kwasi got accepted in 8 Ivy League schools rather than 1!
Kwasi’s parents are both nurses who immigrated to New York in the 1980s. Their son has his sights set on a career in medicine, specifically cardiology or neurology.
Kwasi eventually selected Yale University.
In 2015, Harold Ekeh repeated Kwasi’s feat of 2014.
Harold Ekeh is the first of five brothers born to Nigerian parents that immigrated to the US when he was aged 8. As reported in the Daily Mail, he is a “straight A student, with a SAT score of 2270, at Elmont Memorial High School in Long Island, New York, where he has served as editor-in-chief of his student newspaper and chief executive of the Model United Nations”.
Harold credits his success to the essay he submitted to all 8 colleges that describes his family’s struggle to fit in after emigrating to America. He also mentions his parents, former Target clerks as drivers to his success.
Harold plans to be a neurosurgeon particularly to find Alzheimer’s cure for his grandmother. He is currently in Yale University.
For more on this story click here.
Augusta Uwamanzu-Nna, also of Nigerian heritage got accepted into all 8 schools in 2016. Augusta, though born in the US is passionate about Nigeria, she says ‘Though I was born here in America, I visited Nigeria many times,’ she told WABC. ‘And I’ve seen that my cousins don’t have the same opportunities that I have. So definitely, whatever I do, I want to make sure that it has an impact on Nigeria.’
In the summer of 2015, Augusta worked as the youngest researcher in a Columbia University Lab, her colleagues were PHD and Master’s Students. She is currently attending Harvard University.
See here for more.
This year, a New Jersey teenager of Nigerian origins has to decide on which Ivy League school to attend in the fall. The “problem” is that she has been admitted into the 8 American Ivy League schools. This problem is fast becoming an emerging issue!
Her name is Ifeoma White-Thorpe and she is a senior at Morris Hills High school in Rockaway. She wants to pursue a career in global health and since all the Ivy League schools have great research facilities, she chose to apply to them all. Ifeoma is yet to make a choice and her parents have said the decision is hers completely.
This teenager already has quite an impressive “resumé.” She is a student government president as well as a talented poet and writer. She recently won first place in the National Liberty Museum’s Selma Speech & Essay Contest. See here for more.
We congratulate all 4, it would be interesting to see who gets this in 2018.