Jude Okonkwo, a 17-year-old Nigerian based in the United States, has been accepted into the eight Ivy League schools.
Quite similar to Ifeoma White-Thorpe, a New Jersey high school student, born by Nigerian parents, who had a clean sweep of her college applications, racking up acceptances from 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.
He wants to study medicine – a desire which began at 6-years-old when he and his family survived Hurricane Katrina, and hence, he’s leaning towards Harvard.
“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.
“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
“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 Honour Society and he’s also in his school’s varsity track team.
He joins a handful of elite teens who over the past couple of years have received admission letters from the eight Ivy League schools such as Ghanaian-American teen Kwasi Enin in 2014, Harold Ekeh in 2015 and Augusta Uwamanzu-Nna and Kelly Hyles last year.