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Avery Coffey

Avery Coffey, 17, a senior at D.C.’s prestigious Benjamin Banneker Academic High School, applied to five Ivy League schools and was accepted to all of them, reports


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Coffey, who has a 4.3 GPA in his intense International Baccalaureate program, applied and was accepted to Harvard, Princeton, Yale, the University of Pennsylvania, and Brown. All but Harvard have already presented Coffey with generous financial aid packages.

Coffey, who also plays baseball, basketball, tennis and soccer, plans on majoring in finance.

“I guess probably the CEO of an investment (or management consulting) firm,” said Coffey when asked exactly what he wanted to do in the field of finance. “I guess pretty much overseeing acquisitions or transactions between large companies. Hopefully, Fortune 500 companies.”

Coffey was raised in D.C.’s Ward 8 by his hard-working mother in a single-parent household. Growing up in the less than financially ideal environment—mired in stereotypes and roadblocks—did not discourage Coffey and he offered the following advice to children who struggle in similar circumstances.

“You can go anywhere you want to, pursue any career that you want to, and you shouldn’t let anybody hinder you from trying to reach your goals,” he said.

Banneker is known for its strict rules, including no cell phones and no going to lockers between classes. According to Principal Anita Berger, the strategy has paid off big time. One hundred percent of Banneker students consistently graduate high school and go on to receive offers from colleges and universities.

According to data collected by The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, “graduation rates for African Americans [who attend Ivy League institutions] are 85 percent or better. Nationwide the college graduation for African Americans is 44 percent.”

See graph below:

Black Ivy League grads

Watch MyFoxDC report below:

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