On March 28, Baltimore student Mekhi Johnson pulled out his iPhone to check his university decisions on the Ivy League's decision day.
Johnson, a senior at the Gilman School, found he'd been accepted to Penn, Yale University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Harvard University, Brown University, Dartmouth College, and Cornell University — all eight Ivy League universities.
“When I opened the very last one, I just said, 'Oh my God, no! No, this isn’t real.' I checked back to make sure I didn’t read anything wrong, there were no typos anywhere,” Johnson said to ABC Baltimore.
According to Baltimore's ABC and NBC news affiliates, his mother started shrieking at the restaurant, and Johnson quickly emailed his counselor with the good news.
When Johnson was a first grader at The Gilman School, he had heard about a student who had been accepted to all of the Ivy League schools. Upon hearing the news, Johnson said to his mother, Tawana Thomas Johnson, “I want to do that.”
Johnson has been a student at The Gilman School since the first grade. Johnson is involved in numerous extracurricular activities. He serves as president of the school's diversity council, plays in the jazz band, sings in an a cappella group, and edits the school yearbook.
Of the 280,000 applicants to the Ivy League in 2017, fewer than five were accepted to all eight colleges, according to ABC.
While Johnson hasn’t made his decision quite yet, he told ABC he’s interested in pursuing political science, and wants to eventually go to law school.
Wherever he goes, Johnson seeks to “use the unique experiences he’s had to combat systemic racism,” according to the Baltimore Sun.
In his family, Johnson will be the fourth generation to attend college; his grandmother had attended New York University.
Since the age of six, Johnson has been focusing on his goal of being accepted to all eight universities.
“He kept this idea in front of him through all those years,” his mother told the Baltimore Sun. “It’s a wonderful thing and is certainly a testament to what you can do when you set your mind to it.”
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