Ifeoma White-Thorpe is going places. Two years ago, the New Jersey teen won the grand prize in the National Liberty Museum Selma Speech and Essay Contest (watch her recite it on YouTube), she's aced all of her AP classes, she's president of her high school's student government, and now she's been accepted by all eight Ivy League colleges plus Stanford, reports the New York Daily News. Her parents say the decision is hers to make, but the 17-year-old says it'll likely come down to which school offers the most financial aid. Ifeoma says she plans to study biology and pursue a career in public health, but she has a hunch that it is her poetry that got her noticed in her applications.
In part of her award-winning essay, which Mic.com reports was among 800 submitted, she talks about being motivated to explore the idea of freedom when her little brother no longer felt safe walking down the street as a black boy. "In order to advance my rights, I will continue to dismiss the stereotypes of the black female," she writes. "I will be outstanding. I will be ravishing in the way that I sew my words together to create a beautiful, unmitigated harmony." CNN reports that Ifeoma joins the ranks of only a handful of students to get into all eight Ivy League schools: Harvard, Yale, Columbia, UPenn, Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, and Princeton. (This valedictorian got into 26 colleges, but didn't sweep the Ivy League.)