April 2, 2014

Ivy League Student


Shelby: Alright. Scott is here with me now, and we both know that applying to college can be really nerve-racking, right? But you know what is even worse? Waiting to hear if you got accepted to your dream school.

Scott: Yeah, Shelby. You know, there are tons of high school seniors playing that dreaded waiting game but there is one student who seemed to have aced that admissions process. Check it out.

Ask almost any high-schooler and they will tell you getting into even one of the nation’s selective Ivy League colleges is a major accomplishment and would feel really good.

Kwasi Enin: Amazing, satisfying.

Scott: But 17-year-old Kwasi Enin got into all of them. He was accepted by Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth and Penn. The eight schools in the Ivy League considered some of the top schools in the nation.

Kwasi is in the top 2% of his class at William Floyd High, a Long Island public school, with a near perfect score on the SATs. But he has got more going for him than just good grades and high scores.

Kwasi: I’m in youth and government at my school, track and field, the musical theater, chamber orchestra, I am a bass singer in the men’s a cappella group, I volunteer at Stony Brook Hospital, church, bell choir, youth choir, I play viola…things like that.

Scott: Yeah, a lot more. And still the odds for landing a spot were against him. Acceptance was at record lows this year for many Ivy League schools. Of more than 250,000 students who applied to eight of the oldest universities in the country, less than 9% got in. Yale accepts 6.3%. Harvard, just 5.9.

Kwasi’s parents, who emigrated from the African country of Ghana, made sure he took advantage of being raised in the U.S.

Ebenezer Enin: Coming from Africa, resources there are limited. Over here, there’s no way you can tell me that you cannot do that. I won’t accept that.

Scott: His father says his son didn’t have any natural-born advantages either.

Enin: But I wouldn’t say that he was a unique kid. I wouldn’t say that. He was just an average person, average child.

Scott: But average performance was not acceptable.

Kwasi: Anything below a 95 isn’t good enough. And in a way, that’s not beating you down but saying, ‘you can always do more, can’t you?’ And if you feel that sense of ‘I can always do better,’ you always will.

Scott: No word yet on where Kwasi will go, but he has got until May 1st to decide.

Now, Shelby, did you know that Ivy League is actually a sports reference, not a reference to academics? It is the conference the schools belong to, like the Big Ten or Pac-12.

Shelby: Well, makes sense…Ivy League! Alright. Thanks, Scott.


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