The son of Nigerian immigrants, Jude Okonkwo was accepted to all eight Ivy League schools, joining a growing club of Nigerian teens who have achieved the distinction….Ifeoma White-Thorpe (class of 2017) Augusta Uwamanzu-Nna(class of 2016) Obinna Igbokwe, Harold Eke (class of 2015)
The 17-year-old Chaminade High School will have his pick of the elite schools — Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania and Yale University — and must decide where to enroll by May, 1, 2017.
Okonkwo’s parents, Ndubueze and Chinwe, emigrated from Nigeria in the 1990s and settled in New Orleans. They lived in a two-story home in Harvey, in Jefferson Parish, on the west bank of the Mississippi River.
“I’m so grateful that, after all of the work I’ve put in, I’m able to reap the benefits as well — and that all those who have helped and watched me see that hard work has truly paid off,” said Okonkwo, who hopes to set a good example for his four younger siblings.
Okonkwo, the son of physicians, aspires to be a neurosurgeon and looked for schools with strong science and medical programs, including those with a combined bachelor’s degree and medical school acceptance. His unweight grade-point average is 98.9.
Outside of school, Okonkwo plays the piano and clarinet and has been a member of the children’s choir at St. Matthew Roman Catholic Church in Dix Hills for a decade. From time to time, he is pulled into a pickup game of basketball.
For the last two summers, Okonkwo worked as a lifeguard at the Town of Huntington pool. His interactions with people in his community, along with his love of humanities, confirmed his desire to pursue health care, he said.
“Jude is a model Chaminade man — a man who does the right thing at the right time because it’s the right thing to do, regardless of who is watching,” Brother Thomas Cleary, Chaminade’s president, said in a statement.
“We cannot wait to see the incredible things Jude will continue to do with his life,”
Jude Okonkwo’s college acceptances
Ivy League schools
University of Pennsylvania
Johns Hopkins University
Northeast Ohio Medical University’s baccalaureate-medical degree program
Stony Brook University
University of Missouri
Wayne State University
Source: Long Island News, Newsday