Long Island high school student Harold Ekeh was pretty confident last week he’d get into many Ivy League schools.
He’d already received “likely letters” from six of the Ivies, indicating they were probably going to let him in.
So, last Tuesday, Ekeh said he rushed home to his computer and started with the only two Ivy League schools that didn’t send him likely letters — Harvard and Princeton. When he found out he had gotten into all Ivy League schools, he was stunned. His mother, on the other hand, was “screaming her head off,” according to Ekeh.
“I’m just a regular kid who has a really strong support system,” Ekeh told Business Insider.
If all this sounds familiar, it’s because last year, another Long Island high school student, Kwasi Enin, accomplished the exact same feat of being accepted to all eight Ivies.
For his part, Ekeh may have had a strong support system, but he also has a 100.5% GPA, scored a 2270 on the SAT, and says he takes advantage of as many extracurriculars as he can. He is the vice president on the Model UN Team, editor-in-chief of his school newspaper, and belongs to the drama club. Outside of school, he is the senior drummer at his church and director of the youth choir he founded.
Ekeh didn’t always excel at school. His parents moved their family to the US from Nigeria when he was 8 years old. The oldest of five boys, he remembers asking his parents,”Why did you move us all across the Atlantic to America?”
He struggled at first with his heavy accent, trying to adjust to the new culture while holding on to his own identity and his own culture. He learned to persevere and become successful through the example of his parents, whom he says never let obstacles get in their way.
It’s that attitude that Ekeh credits with his successes in college acceptances.
He’s leaning towards Yale at the moment, but has a few more schools to visit before he officially decides.
As for the major he will pursue, he is very interested in neurobiology but isn’t making any promises.
“I’m definitely interested in science, but I feel like I’m going to be the kid that wants to be a neurosurgeon when he grows up and then goes to college and finds out that he wants to be a senator,” he said, laughing.
Ekeh has until May 1 to decide between eight Ivy League schools, plus his other acceptances of MIT, Johns Hopkins, Vanderbilt, NYU, and SUNY Stony Brook.
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