Jude Okonkwo, a 17-year-old Nigerian based in the United States, has been accepted into the eight Ivy League schools.
His feat is similar to that of Ifeoma White-Thorpe, a New Jersey high school student, born to Nigerian parents, who also gained admission into all eight Ivy League schools.
Okonkwo, a Chaminade high school student, received acceptance letters to Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University and Yale University.
“It’s a tremendous honor to gain acceptance to all eight Ivy League schools. It’s something I never could have imagined,” Okonkwo told WCBS-880.
The teenager said he wants to study medicine, hence, he’s leaning towards Harvard. His desire to study medicine began at 6-years-old when he and his family survived Hurricane Katrina.
“Hospitals were severely impacted by the storm while so many people needed so much help. It motivated me to serve as a summer lifeguard for the disabled after we moved to New York,” he said.
“My parents enrolled me in swimming lessons after seeing the powerful flood waters Katrina brought ashore, and I realized I could use swimming to help people.
“Tragedies occur in everyday life, and I want to be someone who can help a person and their family heal in their times of need.
“Right now, I’m leaning towards Harvard, because I applied there on early action and I’ve had a chance to kind of engage with the community and get a sense of what the school is all about. But I’m still very much open to the other schools and I want to learn more about them.”
Okonkwo is the editor of the Chaminade newspaper, president of the school’s glee club, editor-in-chief of the school’s literary magazine, a member of the National Honor Society and he’s also in his school’s varsity track team.
The gifted teenager has also written and self-published a book, “A Journey Through Poetry”.
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