NEW YORK — For weeks the media has been abuzz covering the story of Autum Ashante, a 13-year-old whiz kid who was accepted to the University of Connecticut, but later told by the university that her acceptance had been rescinded.
Last week, NewsOne reported that Josephine Minnow, a UConn alumna started a petition to get Autum reinstated at the institution, which is now signed by nearly 500 people.
However, UConn’s Communications Officer Michael Kirk told NewsOne Tuesday, that Autum was never accepted.
“The story that she was offered admission and then had it rescinded is not true,” Kirk said in an email.
Contrastingly, Autum’s father Batin Ashante told NewsOne that his daughter was indeed accepted, and that UConn’s spokesman Richard Veilleaux confirmed it to a reporter at the NY Daily News.
Kirk denies Veilleaux said such a thing. According to him, the spokesman told the journalist that the institution doesn’t generally say if someone is accepted or not, but that “no one by that name is enrolled at UConn.” According to Kirk, not releasing such information to press is against the university’s courtesy policy. Nonetheless, he adamantly made it clear that no one by the name of Autum Ashante is enrolled, and has never been enrolled at the institution.
Somewhere there was an obvious miscommunication, as the report from the NY Daily News said otherwise.
Mr. Ashante told NewsOne that the institution has caused his family a lot of grief for “going back on their word,” and as a result have been dragged through the media. He said that he was told that he and his daughter needed to formally enroll, but upon doing so, the admission’s office told him that Autum was not “academically” ready. Autum is reported to have an IQ of 149.
Ashante condemned the institution and accused them of “covering their a—”
Meanwhile, the Ashante’s had to halt initial plans to relocate to Connecticut, as they originally were under the impression that Autum would begin classes at UConn this fall.
Instead, Mr. Ashante is looking into enrolling Autum at other institutions such as Hampton University, a historically black college in Virginia, and the University of Bridgeport.