Micheal Brown heard back from the first college in December. The Houston 12th-grader was accepted to Stanford, a school he'd imagined attending for years; his mom filmed his joyful reaction. Since then, he's been accepted to every single one of the 20 universities to which he applied—some of the country's best, from four Ivy League schools to small and "highly selective" schools, per the New York Times. And not only that: The 17-year-old, who plans on majoring in political science, has been offered a full scholarship at each and every one, CNN reports. He's narrowed it down to his top seven (Harvard, Princeton, Northwestern, Yale, Penn, Stanford, Georgetown) and will spend the next month touring schools before making a decision on May 1. "It's something I'm proud of because I see my hard work paying off, determination paying off, sacrifices paying off," he says.
Brown credits his mom, Berthinia Rutledge-Brown. "After she got divorced, she decided she needed to get a better job," he tells the Houston Chronicle, so she got a college degree and now works two jobs as a licensed chemical dependency counselor. "The best lesson she taught me was through her actions and her working hard and dedicating herself." Brown has a 4.68 GPA; is active with Mirabeau B. Lamar High School's debate team and student government; has worked with political campaigns; and has been involved with initiatives that match kids from low-income communities with higher-ed opportunities. In addition to the full rides he's been offered, he's secured $260,000 in additional scholarship money. (Read more uplifting news stories.)