Saturday 8 April 2017

Gifted Nigerian Girl, Olawunmi Akinlemibola Gets Accepted Into 14 Colleges & Universities

A talented high school student in Prince George’s County has a big decision to make soon she was accepted to 14 colleges and universities, including Harvard, Princeton and Stanford.

Olawunmi Akinlemibola, a senior at Duval High School in Lanham, Maryland, was accepted to Ivy League schools, the University of Maryland and several other institutions.

With a 4.15 GPA, many of those offers come with scholarships and some will cover the entire cost of her four-year education. So between now and May 1, the deadline for many acceptances, she has plenty to consider.

Her counselor, Stacy Kline, has a caseload of over 300 students at the Lanham, Maryland, high school. At the start of the school year, colleagues told her she had a standout in the group.

Kline said that was an understatement, and referred to Akinlemibola by her nickname. “Wunmi is one of the top students I’ve ever had the privilege of working with,” Kline said. “And I say ‘privilege’ because she’s someone who has taken classes far beyond the ones I’ve taken — even in my master’s programs!”

“It’s easy to do well in the things that you like,” she said.

But for those classes that prove to be stumbling blocks, or that are just unappealing, Akinlemibola advised that it helps “if you can just see them as stepping stones to get to where you’re going.

Sitting at a desk in her counselor’s office, Akinlemibola said her mom has been a source of inspiration and encouragement. Originally from Nigeria, Akinlemibola said her mother currently live there with her two little sisters, so the two talk on the phone. Often.

“I love my mom, she’s really supportive, she’s wonderful.” She quickly added that her father is also a source of support. “Shout out to him too! Shout out to him too!” she said, laughing.

Akinlemibola, who lives with her father in Prince George’s County, said her mother didn’t go to college and that her father works as a security officer. But she and her two little sisters have always enjoyed learning.

Her mother, she said, will likely join the rest of the family in Prince George’s County soon, and that when her little sisters reach high school age, they will outshine her.

“Oh, they’re much smarter than me!” she said.

Howard University and Stanford were among the first schools to let Akinlemibola know she’d have a spot on their campuses. She admitted that she was a bit overwhelmed by the acceptance to Stanford, “because I didn’t think I was going to get in anywhere, so … I cried.”

Kline is as excited as Akinlemibola by the opportunities the teenager has to choose from.

This is Kline’s first year as a counselor at Duval, but she’s been a high school counselor for nine years.

“And I can honestly say that she is the first student that has been accepted to the highest amount of top-tier schools that she has, but also to the Ivies,” Kline said, referring to the Ivy League schools like Harvard and Princeton.

“She’s just amazing,” Kline said.

So, while all those academic offers have yet to be sorted out, Akinlemibola is juggling a more immediate challenge: what to wear to the upcoming prom.

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