17 Years-Old Nigerian Student Bags 19 Fully-Funded Scholarships To Ivy League Schools

Victory Yinka-Banjo, a 17 years-old Nigerian student, has received 19 full-ride scholarship offers worth over $5 million for undergraduate study programmes across the United States and Canada.

Victory Yinka-Banjo; born to Nigerian parents, Chika Yinka-Banjo, a senior lecturer at the University of Lagos, and Adeyinka Banjo, a private sector procurement, and supply chain executive, is one of the brightest students to be recognized from Nigeria.

In her secondary West African Examination Council (WAEC) exams, she bagged 9 A's, an impressive feat for a 17-year-old. She also had straight As in her Cambridge results.

She was also declared the World Best Candidate in English as a Second Language (Speaking Component) by the University of Cambridge International Examination (CIE).

“It still feels pretty unbelievable. I applied to so many schools because I didn’t even think any school would accept me,” Victory told CNN, obviously excited at her achievement.

The youngster was given potential full scholarships from the Ivy League schools, including Yale College, Princeton University, Harvard College, Brown University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford University, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Virginia.

In Canada, Victory was offered the Lester B. Pearson scholarship from the University of Toronto and the Karen McKellin International Leader of Tomorrow (KMILOT) scholarship from the University of British Columbia.

“Their admissions processes are extremely selective,” Victory added. “They only accept the best of the best. So, you can imagine how, daily, I have to remind myself that I actually got into these schools. It is surreal!”

Victory said the scholarships have made her feel fulfilled for the hard work she has put into studying over the years.

“They have made me truly feel proud about the hard work I have put into several areas of my life over the years. I am slowly beginning to realize that I deserve them,” she said.

The teenager admitted that these multiple scholarships offers “have made me stand taller, smile wider, and pat myself on the back more often.”

She intends to study Computational Biology but is yet to choose which of the institutions she is going to attend. She has, however, narrowed down her choices to Stanford, Harvard, MIT, Duke, Johns Hopkins, and is doing some research to compare them.

Meanwhile, Victory’s mother, Chika, hopes her daughter’s story could inspire other young Nigerians.

In the interview with CNN, she said: “It is noteworthy that she is not one of the Nigerian-Americans who often get into these schools because of their advantage of being born and bred in the US. She completed her secondary school here [in Nigeria]. It would be great if her story can be used to inspire the youths of our country.”

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