-18-year old Ghanaian student gains entry into 3 Ivy League schools
- Samuel Mensah is an alum of Opoku Ware School, in the Ashanti Region of Ghana
An alum of Opoku Ware Senior High School, Samuel Mensah, is currently on cloud nine after gaining admission to eight premier universities in the United States.
The 18-year-old gained admission to three Ivy League schools and five other prestigious tertiary institutions in the US.
Princeton, Dartmouth and Columbia universities are the Ivy League schools that have offered him admission, whiles the other five schools are Stanford, Duke, Northwestern, Williamson and Vanderbilt universities.
Samuel Mensah gained admission the eight prestigious US universities, all on full scholarship.
In a Facebook post on Monday, the US Embassy shared Samuel’s great academic achievements with the Ghanaian populace.
Speaking in an interview with Accra-based Citi FM, Samuel said he is elated to have gained admission to eight of the top universities in the world.
“I’m really excited at the prospect of going to some of the best universities in the US and consequently in the entire world. Going on full scholarship merits that response so I am very excited and very happy about the whole thing,” he said.
According to him, it was difficult taking the SATs (Scholastic Assessment Tests) right after he finished High School in May 2017.
He said he was faced with another big challenge during the whole application process.
“During October, November, December, that’s when we put together the essays, recommendation and all that is required for the applications,” he said.
He added that he had help from Education USA and Afex Test Prep in writing his essays and financial aid applications.
“Because the whole [American] system is sort of different from how our university system works, it’s confusing, and that is where they come in with their expertise. When we get a problem, we ask them questions and all that. They had workshops and seminars that we attended,” he stated.
He explained that he gained admission to KNUST but had to drop out to focus on his applications for the US schools.
This, he said, was a great source of worry to his parents, who were initially skeptical.
“It takes a lot of determination. Back when we were in school, a lot of people said they would do the Brilla [Science and Maths Quiz] but along the way, they fell off. It was a lot of work. When we completed, there were a lot of people who also said they would write the SATs. Most of them, when we started they weren’t really getting the thing. They were like; this is too difficult.”
“Even when we started applications, there were people who had written the SATs, but they said this is too difficult. We were writing about 12 essays for a single school and those kinds of things, and they were like, nah. It takes a lot of perseverance, a lot of determination, focus and drive,” Samuel stated.
“It’s tiring. I know people who tried for about two or three years before they got into a school with scholarships. It’s work. It is for those who will persevere to the end. But no matter whatever you put in, the reward at the end is much more than what you put in so it’s worth it.”
Asked which choice he will make among the prestigious universities at his doorstep, Samuel said his choice will “most likely” be Stanford University in California, a school renowned as one of the world’s leading teaching and research institutions.
“I am more academia inclined. As at now, I am thinking about going to grad school and pursuing a Masters degree and PhD,” he noted.
Samuel Mensah is an alum of Opoku Ware school, having also had his junior education at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Basic School.
The 18-year-old was also a contestant for his school in the 2017 National Science and Maths Quiz (NSMQ).
In the video below, the deputy education minister, Mrs Barbara Ayisi, speaks on how President Akufo-Addo inspires her, and how the president's success story must also inspire the youth of Ghana to greater heights.
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