Two Nigerians have made a public school in Long Island New York, Elmont Memorial High School (EMHS), proud by being accepted into all eight Ivy League schools in the United States in back-to-back years.
Last year, Harold Ekeh who moved to the United States when he was 8, got admitted into all the 13 schools he applied to but the salutatorian chose Yale. This year, it was Augusta Uwamanzu-Nna’s turn to make her school and country Nigeria proud. Although, unlike Ekeh, she was born in the United States, but Uwamanzu-Nna has visited Nigeria a couple of times and has not lost touch with her roots. On her part, she was accepted into 12 schools altogether, including Johns Hopkins University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but she has not decided which school to choose.
An elated Kevin Dougherty, Elmont Memorial High School principal said having two students accepted into all the eight Ivy League schools for two years in a row is humbling, “but also speaks to the incredible commitment to children by the families and staff within the EMHS Community”.
Uwamanzu-Nna also said in a statement by her school that, while she was humbled by the multiple acceptances, her achievement was a result of hard work.
“My parents have always taught me the value of hard work, and I am very thankful for that,” she said.
“My teachers at Elmont Memorial have also played a major role in my development. Elmont Memorial is a very special place, where teachers start their days at 7 a.m. and leave very late in the evening. It is a school where teachers love children and are dedicated to academic achievement. My recent accomplishments reflect the hardworking ideals of the town of Elmont, my supportive parents and my dedicated teachers. I am elated, but most importantly, I am thankful.”
Uwamanzu-Nna finished high school as valedictorian with 101.64 weighted GPA. She plans to pursue a science-related major. A school where she’d be able to combine her varied scientific interests will be her preference.
Next week, she will be at the White House Science Fair to showcase her project, a research on cement that will keep oil rigs intact, which took her to the finals of the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search.
Apart from Ekeh and Uwamanzu-Nna, other students of African descent who attended EMHS have made the school proud. In 2005, EMHS was recognized as having the largest number of African American high school students scoring a 3 or higher on Advanced Placement examinations in the country.
The school was also recognized by the College Board as having the largest number of African American students attaining a 3 or higher on the Advanced Placement U.S. History exam in the country.