Kwasi Enin, a New York high school student accepted by the eight Ivy League schools — Harvard, Yale, Brown, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Princeton and Cornell made his pick in style, staging a news conference in the gym of William Floyd High School and delivering the big announcement before teachers and members of the media.
A visit to the New Haven, Connecticut, campus helped him decide.
“My Bull Dog Days experience last week was incredible,” he said. “I met geniuses from all across the world. And everyone there was so friendly and inviting. … And I believe that their deep appreciation and love for music, like I have, was very critical for me deciding to go there.”
His father, Ebenezer, thanked all those at the high school who encouraged his son. “We are grateful for all the inspiration,” he said.
“People think Kwasi is like an angel or somebody who was sheltered. Really, we gave him a lot of freedom, even though at the same time we were very strict with him in terms of academics and the way he behaved. … We only pray that going forward he will stay focused and not be distracted.”
Referring to Kwasi’s 14-year-old sister, Adwoa, their father said: “I told her, Look, I believe you can do better than him.”
Enin scored 2250 out of a possible 2400 on his SAT, placing him in the 98th percentile across the country, according to The College Board. He’s also ranked 11th in his class at William Floyd High School, a public school on Long Island, according to his principal, Barbara Butler.
“I applied knowing that going to any of the Ivy League schools would be wonderful,” Enin said. “I thought if I applied to all eight, I figured I’d get into one … but from the first one onwards I said, ‘This can’t be happening!’ I was shocked seeing all these acceptances under my name.”
Enin is not only a model academic student, but also plays three instruments for the chamber orchestra, sings in an a cappella group, throws shot put and discus for the high school’s track and field team, participates in student government and has had a lead role in school plays since the ninth grade.
Harvard’s acceptance rate, among the most selective in the country, was just 5.9% for the applicants for the class of 2017, according to its admissions site.
Enin was also accepted to Duke University and three State University of New York campuses.
Enin admitted all along that he favored Yale.
“I really liked their sense of family, relationships between undergraduates and professors, and the residential college,” he said earlier this month. “They also have a strong biomedical engineering program, which is a wonderful combination of biology and creative tools that doctors and health care professionals can use.”
Enin added that Yale also has a strong music program, one of his beloved hobbies that he hopes to continue when he isn’t hitting the books in college.
He hopes to one day pursue medicine, a dream of his that just so happens to align with his parents’ careers.
His parents, who immigrated from Ghana in the late 1980s, are both nurses and pushed Enin to receive the highest grades possible and follow his dreams.
“Health care is a prominent field that satisfies people beyond finances and edifies people and is about moral development,” he said.
His advice for future applicants?
“Follow your passions in high school and not just follow suit for what you think can get you into these schools,” he said. “Develop your outside interests — not just academics.”