Florida First-Gen Teen Gets All Ivy League Colleges
A teenager from Florida, who is a first-generation Nigerian-American, has a wide variety of Ivy League schools to choose from – all of them.
Ashley Adirika, a debate champion who hopes to help reduce income inequality, has traveled to Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton and Yale.
“The tears just started to flow. Like they were starting to flow,” she told ABC News of her reaction to finding out.
“My siblings and I were really excited, like screaming, jumping around. It was crazy.”
The budding scholar, who went to high school at Miami Beach Senior High School, was also accepted to Stanford, Vanderbilt and Emory.
“I just decided to shoot each one and see if it would land – and I didn’t know I would be accepted into all of them,” the 17-year-old student told CNN.
“I remember crying a lot and being extremely surprised.”
Ashley ended up choosing Harvard, which only accepted a record 3.19% of applications for the Class of 2026.
“Before the college application process, Yale was actually my first choice. But when I did more research on what I want to do specifically, which is explorations in politics and social policy and things of that nature, Harvard just had a better program,” Ashley said. , adding that she wanted to study how policies can improve income disparities. .
She will begin her studies in the Ivy League in the fall and plans to go to law school after completing her undergraduate degree.
“I’m really passionate about politics and using politics to empower communities. And so in the short term, for me, it feels like becoming a lawyer,” she said.
“But in the long term, I want to use this as a platform to do political work.”
Adirika was recruited into her school’s debate team when she was in eighth grade.
“Everyone knew Ashley because of her intelligence. She had test results through the roof,” said Bess Rodriguez, a seventh grade English teacher who recruited her.
“When we were going to the debates, the other kids, when they saw her walk into the room, they were like, ‘Oh no, we have to debate Ashley. You know, she just got a reputation like that.
She also started a local organization, Our Story Our Worth, which provides mentorship to young girls of color.
Unsurprisingly, Ashley was student council president and also spoke at her high school’s graduation ceremony.