Ashley Adirika, Nigerian American of Anambra State heritage has been admitted in all eight of the American Ivy league Universities including Stanford, Vanderbilt and Emory. She decided to settle for Harvard, University.
It was a surreal moment for the 17-year-old, whose mother emigrated to the US from Nigeria three decades ago. Ashley was surrounded that day by family members — including her four siblings — who joined her in squealing in delight at each new acceptance letter.
“I just decided to shoot my shot at all of them and see if it would land. And I had no idea that I would get accepted into all of them,” she says. “On Ivy Day, I remember crying a lot and just being extremely surprised.”
Ashley, who graduated from Miami Beach Senior High School this month, joins an exclusive group: Since 2018, each Ivy League school has accepted less than 12% of its applicants. This year Yale accepted 4.5%, Columbia took 3.7% and Harvard accepted just 3.2%, the lowest number in the university’s history.
Adirika has always been an high achiever and quite a creative mind. She came up with an organization named OUR STORY OUR WORTH to help in mentoring young girls especially at the challenging period of teenage .
“When I was in elementary school, I had the privilege of being a part of a mentorship program for girls. I was mentored by women in college and they taught me important skills, instilled confidence into me and gave me the outlet I needed to express myself. I will never forget the sense of solace that their support gave me,” she wrote on the organization’s website.
“Unfortunately, as I … continued into middle and high school, that sense of solace began to fade. There was a lack of programs available for girls, much less those of color.”
She thanked her family especially her mother for providing to her a vision of responsibility and role model that propel her success. “She has just instilled in me the value of education and working hard, as well as all of the strong women in my life, like my older sisters,” she says. “For me, it’s about making the most of the opportunities that
I have at my fingertips and really just making sure that the sacrifices that have been made for me weren’t done in vain.”
CNN contributed to this story.