New York valedictorian celebrates acceptance at all 8 Ivy League schools

LONG ISLAND, N.Y. (WRIC/WABC) — A high school student from Long Island, New York is celebrating a rare feat.

Augusta Uwamanzu-Nna, valedictorian of Elmont High School, has been accepted to all eight Ivy League schools.

Uwamanzu-Nna says there are no secrets or shortcuts for academic success — only hard work will help one rise to the top.

“I think the main thing that has shaped me into the individual I am now is just tenacity and persistence,” she said.

Uwamanzu-Nna is the daughter of Nigerian immigrants who instilled in her self confidence, humility and a respect for education.

“Though I was born here in American, I visited Nigeria many times,” she said. “And I’ve seen that my cousins don’t have the same opportunities that I have. So definitely, whatever I do, I want to make sure that it has an impact on Nigeria.”

Uwamanzu-Nna is passionate about science. She was an Intel finalist for her research on cement that could help prevent underwater oil rigs from rupturing.

Michelle Flannory is Augusta’s research adviser.

“She knows that you have to work,” she said. “Is she naturally talented? Yes, but she definitely pursues excellence.”

She says Augusta takes constructive criticism constructively.

“I’ve struggled with numerous classes in the past,” Augusta said. “But I guess what allowed me to be successful, ultimately, in those classes, at the end, is my persistence and my tenacity.”

And she’s justifiably proud of her GPA, a whopping 101.6.

On Monday, Augusta received an invitation to the White House Science Fair. As for college, she says it is great to have choices, but she hasn’t decided yet where she’ll attend.

Of course, she will thrive no matter where she goes.

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