Now, this is impressive!
A Nigerian teen earned 19 scholarship offers across the U.S. and Canada, totaling more than $5 million, CNN reports.
Victory Yinka-Banjo is the daughter of Nigerian parents, Chika Yinka-Banjo, a senior lecturer at the University of Lagos, and Adeyinka Banjo, a private sector procurement, and supply chain executive. Victory first gained national recognition while still in high school, scoring straight A’s on her West African Senior School Certificat Examination (WASSCE). Before that, she was rated “Top in the World” for speaking English as a second language by the University of Cambridge International Examination (CIE). She also received straight A’s on her Cambridge IGCSE exam. Now, Victory is preparing for college, receiving 19 scholarship offers across the United States and Canada, worth more than $5 million, to go towards her undergraduate studies.
“It still feels pretty unbelievable. I applied to so many schools because I didn’t even think any school would accept me…They have made me truly feel proud about the hard work I have put into several areas of my life over the years. I am slowly beginning to realize that I deserve them,” Victory said.
All of her scholarships are full-ride offers. Included are offers from Yale, Princeton, Harvard, Brown University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Virginia. Victory is also the recipient of the Lester B. Pearson scholarship from the University of Toronto and the Karen McKellin International Leader of Tomorrow (KMILOT) scholarship from the University of British Columbia in Canada.
“Their admissions processes are extremely selective. They only accept the best of the best. So, you can imagine how, on a daily basis, I have to remind myself that I actually got into these schools. It is surreal,” said Victory.
She credits her parents, her faith, and hard work with her success. She currently tutors other students looking to get admitted to a university, focusing on math, English language, biology, chemistry, and physics. Victory’s mother Chika says it’s important to note that her daughter completed all of her studies in her home country, hoping that she can inspire other young Nigerians to do the same.
“It is noteworthy that she is not one of the Nigerian-Americans who often get into these schools because of their advantage of being born and bred in the U.S. She completed her secondary school here [in Nigeria]. It would be great if her story can be used to inspire the youths of our country,” said Chika.
The 17-year-old is still narrowing down her top school, planning to study Computational Biology. She spoke about the significance of her scholarship offers, saying, “[they] have made me stand taller, smile wider, and pat myself on the back more often.”
Photo Courtesy of Ruth Yinka-Banjo/CNN