Harvard University – Ivy League in Cambridge, MA – Courtesy: Shutterstock – Image by Jorge Salcedo
In an astonishing feat of academic excellence, a South Florida teen has been offered admission into all eight Ivy League schools in the nation, plus seven other universities.
Last fall, Ashley Adirika of Florida applied to every Ivy League university in the country.
On Ivy Day, the day when the prestigious institutions announce their first-year admission honorees, she opened up eight different tabs on her computer showing one acceptance letter after another.
The 17-year-old student had been accepted into Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brown, Cornell, Columbia, Penn, and Dartmouth. In addition to these Ivy Leagues, she was also accepted to Vanderbilt, Stanford, and Emory.
“I just decided to shoot my shot at all of them and see if it would land. And I had no idea that I would get accepted into all of them,” Adirika said. “On Ivy Day, I remember crying a lot and just being extremely surprised.”
The teen, whose mother came to the U.S. from Nigeria over three decades ago, graduated from Miami Senior High School in early June.
The graduate has decided to commit to Harvard and begin in the fall.
This September, she intends to major in government. Her goal is to have a better understanding of how government operates and how policies might help communities address economic disparities.
She hopes to enter law school after completing her undergraduate studies.
“I am really passionate about policy and using policy to empower communities. And so in the short term, for me, that looks like becoming a lawyer,” she said. “But in the long term, I want to use that as a platform to do work in policy.”
In high school, she started the Our Story Our Worth organization, which provides confidence-building, mentorship, and sisterhood to girls and young women of color.
According to the website, the organization “creates spaces and facilitates connections that enable diverse young women and girls to network and form long-lasting bonds. In this way, each member has a strong support system. We match underserved middle school students with high-achieving high school students, through partnerships with local schools, for tutoring and personal development sessions. In addition, we identify needs in our communities and address them by spearheading campaigns, fundraising, donating, and creating partnerships to problem-solve effectively.”
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Melissa’s career in writing started more than 20 years ago. Today, she lives in South Florida with her husband and two boys.