Elmont High School valedictorian celebrates acceptance at all 8 Ivy League schools

Monday, April 4, 2016
Elmont High School valedictorian celebrates acceptance at all 8 Ivy League schools
NJ Burkett is in Elmont with the story

ELMONT, Long Island (WABC) -- A high school student from Long Island is celebrating the rare feat of being accepted to all eight Ivy League schools.

But for Augusta Uwamanzu-Nna, the Elmont High School valedictorian, there are no secrets and no shortcuts to academic success.

"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."

Science is her passion, and 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."

Augusta, she says, 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. And as for college, she says it is great to have choices, but she hasn't decided.

But of course, she will thrive no matter where she goes.

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