17 year old Nigerian, Obinna Igbokwe gets accepted into 7 of 8 Ivy League schools
17-year-old Brockton High School senior and son of Nigerian immigrants Obinna Igbokwe got into seven out of the eight Ivy League schools this year, his latest feat in a lifetime full of already stellar accomplishments.
Because his parents are Nigerian immigrants, Igbokwe said he has a new found appreciation of "what I came from" and how he can learn and grow from the hardship his parents experienced. They instilled a strong work ethic in him, pushing him to study hard, especially when he was younger.
"It gave me perspective. That perspective made me . . . capitalize on what I’ve been given."
His parents were the main people to encourage him to aim high and apply for the Ivy League, he said. They convinced him to apply to every Ivy League school, because he was planning to apply to some colleges in California.
"They really supported me in terms of when I was younger, they made sure I had a good work ethic so later in life I could be able to ensure that I didn’t give up."
Ironically, the first letter he got back from an Ivy was a rejection from Yale University. But he didn’t let that get him down.
"It didn’t make me feel discouraged, ’cause I had assumed that I would get rejected. There’s not guaranteed acceptance" he said.
After he got the seven other acceptances, he did not even tell many people, except his guidance counselor, family, and a few close friends. Instead, he continued to focus on playing the euphonium in his school’s concert band and working toward his International Baccalaureate diploma.
His mother, Chidimma Igbokwe, expressed pride and excitement for her son, as did the rest of the local Nigerian Igbo community from the Umuada Igbo organization. She thanked Brockton Public Schools for bringing out the best out of her son.
"Every time we hear about kids on drugs, kids with guns, but we never hear something good about Brockton," Mrs Igbokwe said "Hopefully, I can open someone's eyes to see that going to private school doesnt automatically make you a strong or good student...if you learn and concentrate you can make it...Whatever you do, try and be the best. That's what we instil."
Igbokwe, who has 4.6 grade point average, said he doesn't hold a grudge against Yale University. He said it is more about the right fit, rather than qualifications.
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