Jude Okonkwo, a Chaminade High School senior has been accepted into all 8 Ivy League schools – Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, The University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, and Yale University.
Okonkwo who is the son of Nigerian immigrants, is the President of the school’s newspaper and plays the piano and clarinet, says he wants to pursue a degree in medicine.
“It’s a tremendous honor to gain acceptance to all eight Ivy League schools. It’s something I never could have imagined. Tragedies occur in everyday life, and I want to be someone who can help a person and their family heal in their times of need,” he said.
Having had to moved to New Orleans, Okonkwo was 6 years of age when Hurrican Katrina made landfall on the Louisiana coast and devastated the region. Recalling the experience, he said:
Hospitals were severely impacted by the storm while so many people needed so much help. It motivated me to serve as a summer lifeguard for the disabled after we moved to New York. My parents enrolled me in swimming lessons after seeing the powerful flood waters Katrina brought ashore, and I realized I could use swimming to help people. My Chaminade experience has offered me opportunities in leadership that were integral in preparation for college and the entry process. Most importantly, the Catholic formation I received here allowed me the chance to grow in to a complete man, and grow closer to God.
Thomas Cleary, President of Chimanade High School had this to say about Okonkwo:
Jude is a model Chaminade Man – a man who does the right thing at the right time because it’s the right thing to do, regardless of who is watching. We cannot wait to see the incredible things Jude will continue to do with his life. He has already stunned us with his remarkable talent and compassion for his fellow man. Our Chaminade Family will remain with him every step of the way.