A Long Island, New York, high school senior has won the college lottery.
All eight Ivy League schools — Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Princeton, Cornell, Dartmouth, Brown, University of Pennsylvania — have offered Augusta Uwamanzu-Nna places in their freshman class.
In addition to the Ivies, she was accepted by Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Augusta is valedictorian at Elmont Memorial High School, where she has a 101.64 weighted grade point average. The school is no stranger to academic superstars: Last year, senior Harold Ekeh scored the same number of Ivy acceptances.
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“I am elated, but most importantly, I am thankful,” Augusta, 17, told school officials at Sewanhaka Central High School District.
Augusta said she was "humbled" by the honor, but media requests have been “consuming my life”since the news of her success was announced by her school district.
“Everyone dreams of being a celebrity," she told NBC News. "But this was great for me to realize I serve as an inspiration to others who don’t have the same support system I have had.”
Augusta said she was at a badminton game on March 31, so-called "Ivy Day," when decisions are announced online. Her guidance counselor asked her to check her applicant portal.
“I was really anxious,”Augusta said. "I looked at each update for each school in ABC order and saw each acceptance after another. I was screaming and crying and started running around the gym."
Everyone on the team came over and shook her hand to congratulate her. "I’ll never forget that day," Augusta said.
Augusta’s older brother Johnson told NBC News that Augusta’s “initiative and perseverance,” as well as the family’s emphasis on learning, were responsible for his sister’s success. And the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, as both their Nigerian-born parents are college-educated, and her father has a master’s and doctorate from the University of Indianapolis.
“Education is very paramount in our family,” said her brother, who also made his way to the Ivies. He is a freshman at Cornell University, studying biological engineering.
Tobias and Basillia Nna immigrated to the United States in 1994 and settled first in Indiana then New York City. They moved to Elmont in 2000. Their father has worked for various companies as a physical therapist. All four of their children were born in this country.
“Augusta’s school days start from 7 in the morning until around 8 at night,” said Uwamanzu-Nna. “Not to mention all of the homework assignments, scholarship and other miscellaneous things she gets done.”
He said that while his sister was co-founder of her own tutoring service, she also works at another tutoring center on Saturdays.
Augusta thanked her teachers and her parents for bringing her to this point in her academic life. But, she says, hers is not an “immigrant story.”
“My parents taught me the value of education, not to take any opportunity for granted,”she said.
Augusta, who was a finalist in the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search, will showcase her project — research on cement that will keep oil rigs intact— at the White House Science Fair next week.
She wants to continue her passion for biochemistry and environmental studies. For now, she has until May 1 to decide which college wins her acceptance.
Her advice to other students? Start on the application early and "really work hard on it."
"Try and figure out what your passion is," Augusta said. "Try to figure out what you are passionate about, what you like and enjoy and talk about what you have learned."