17-year-old Victory YinkaBanjo from Nigeria has been awarded 19 scholarship offers worth over KSh 539 million from universities across the United States and Canada.
According to admission documents and estimates of financial aid awards, the highschool graduate was given offers from undergraduate programs.
It still feels pretty unbelievable. I applied to so many schools because I didn’t even think any school would accept me,” Victory told CNN.
The teenager was awarded ful scholarships from the Ivy League schools, Yale College, Princeton University, Harvard College, and Brown University.
Apart from the aforementioned, other US scholarship offers included, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford University, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Virginia.
Scholarships from Canada were from Lester B. Pearson scholarship from the University of Toronto and the Karen McKellin International Leader of Tomorrow (KMILOT) scholarship from the University of British Columbia.
“Their admissions processes are extremely selective. They only accept the best of the best. So, you can imagine how, on a daily basis, I have to remind myself that I actually got into these schools. It is surreal!” Victory added.
Victory’s parents Chika Yinka-Banjo, a senior lecturer at the University of Lagos, and Adeyinka Banjo, a private sector procurement and supply chain executive expressed their happiness over their daughter’s achievements.
Her mother believes her daughter’s story is an inspiration to many Nigerian youths.
“It is noteworthy that she is not one of the Nigerian-Americans who often get into these schools because of their advantage of being born and bred in the US. She completed her secondary school here [in Nigeria]. It would be great if her story can be used to inspire the youths of our country,” she told CNN.
Victory became popular at the end of 2020 after scoring straight A’s in her West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
Speaking at an interview with CNN, Victory revealed she could not have made it if she quit working extra hard.
She also her achievement to faith, parental guidance and discipline.
“They have made me truly feel proud about the hard work I have put into several areas of my life over the years. I am slowly beginning to realize that I deserve them,” she said.
She thanked every who stood by her and guided her during her high school period.
“The multiple scholarship offers “have made me stand taller, smile wider, and pat myself on the back more often.” Victory said.
She looks forward to pursuing Computational Biology however, she has not yet decided which institution she will take having been off the prestigious scholarships.
“I am still doing research on some schools that are at the top of my list, like Stanford, Harvard, MIT, Duke, Johns Hopkins, and just trying to compare and contrast all of them thoroughly,” she told CNN.
During her leisure time, Victory tutors various university seekers through radio on various subjects such as math, English language, biology, chemistry and physics.
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