Eboni Boykin spent most of her childhood moving from one homeless shelter to another with her mother in the St. Louis area.
She also enrolled in more than 14 schools for one reason or another. But that did not stop her from realizing her dream of being accepted into an Ivy League school, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
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The 17-year-old senior at Normandy High School has been accepted into Columbia University in New York City on a full scholarship. Currently, Boykin is editor-in-chief of her school’s student newspaper, a varsity cheerleader and a member of the student council. And, top all of that off, she has a 3.8 grade point average.
Boykin says she learned of her acceptance while taking a break from editing the school newspaper. She logged-on to Columbia’s website for online acceptance decisions where she learned about her admittance. She was ecstatic. Moments later, Boykin got another letter saying that she was awarded a full scholarship.
She cried tears of joy.
Boykin’s success should be inspiration for any young person to set their goals high in the face of adversity.
(Let’s face it. Most young folks stay out of school because of a minor cold, let alone because they were homeless)
To be sure, there are many young urban Black youths like Boykin. However, given the negative press about our young people, we can never grow tired of hearing about another brotha or sista overcoming a challenging childhood to make way for a promising adult life. Where many young people would have given up in Boykin’s situation, she saw it as the ultimate test of her character.
“Seeing the absolute worst of life is the ultimate motivation,” she said.
Here is more on this outstanding young scholar:
At home, Eboni has a supportive mother who dropped out of high school and hasn’t always related to her ambitions. At Normandy High, the petite 17-year-old is one of about 25 honor students among a student body with a dropout rate in the double digits. Last year, 74 percent of students there failed the state’s English 2 exam, and 83 percent failed the math exam.
Eboni’s circle of friends is small. This is by choice, she says. She’s not interested in the music or the clothes that dominate her school’s culture. She is a varsity cheerleader but would rather be at church than at parties.
“There’s always crime or the smoking,” she said. “It was always too much.”
As a 13-year-old teenager, she first became exposed to the Ivy Leagues through the show “Gilmore Girls.” After doing a little research, Boykin decided that she would one day earn a degree from one of those esteemed east coast institutions.
Four years later, she earned a right to set foot on Columbia’s campus this upcoming fall. Now, she only has four more years
“Getting into Columbia definitely teaches me that just keeping the faith and not giving up it pays off,” Boykin told local television station 5 KSDK. “And it just teaches me if you hang in there you can have anything you want if you are willing to work hard for it.”
This young sista, who wants to be journalist, should be a source of inspiration for any teenager who feels that life is too hard to overcome. When she finishes her degree in four years, NewsOne, or any news organization for that matter, would be honored to have her.