Two high school seniors from Baltimore and Washington, D.C. are celebrating this week after being accepted into all eight Ivy League schools in an impressive clean sweep. The duo is among a small handful of students across the U.S. to be admitted to all eight universities.
Mekhi Johnson, who attends The Gilman School in Baltimore, said he dining with his mom at Red Lobster when he realized what he’d just accomplished. He whipped out his iPhone and began checking the status of his applications, starting with Yale. He was in. Next came the confirmations from Columbia, Cornell and Harvard University.
“As soon as I saw I got into Harvard, my mom started screaming,” Johnson, 17, told The Baltimore Sun. “She started yelling, ‘My son just got into Harvard,’ and everyone in the restaurant started clapping.”
“I didn’t have words then, and I don’t have words now,” he continued “I just felt extraordinary.”
The dream of getting into all eight Ivy League schools has been with the soon-to-be graduate since he was 6 years old. Johnson said he was inspired after hearing a story on the radio about a high school student who had achieved the very same feat. The teen said he plans to major in political science, and then head to law school where he can learn to help fight systemic racism, according to the newspaper.
“Even at six, he was pretty serious and goal-oriented,” said Johnson’s mother, Tawanna Thomas Johnson. “He kept this idea in front of him through all those years. It’s a wonderful thing and is certainly a testament to what you can do when you set your mind to it.”
Meanwhile, in D.C., student Samantha O’Sullivan, who attends School Without Walls, said she figured she’d apply to several different schools in the hope of narrowing down her options.
“I thought that I’d just apply to all of them and see where I got in, and hopefully that would make my decision for me,” O’Sullivan told local station WUSA9.
She too was granted admission to all eight Ivy Leagues, as well as four other colleges. O’Sullivan, whose near-perfect SAT score puts her in the 99th percentile, has dreams of becoming an astronaut but also wants to continue sharing her love for learning with younger girls.
“They don’t feel like they’re good at math or science, and I really feel like that’s because nobody told them they are,” she told the station. “And I think it’s all about just believing in yourself. There’s no who’s really born being good at math or physics. It’s something that I really hope to do.”
Black students continue to shine despite some folks thinking their success is borderline “obnoxious.” Just last week, a group of DC Fox news station anchors were blasted after they chided a Black Texas teen who was accepted into all 20 of the schools he applied to, including four Ivy Leagues.
Both Johnson and O’Sullivan said they’re still mulling which school they’ll attend.