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In 2018, Rotimi Kukoyi — a high school freshman at the time — was one of the gifted students selected to appear on the “Jeopardy!” Teen Tournament. Now, the star senior has gone on to excel even further after getting accepted into some of the top schools in the nation, according to ABC News.

Rotimi Kukoyi’s Acceptance Letters And Decision

Kukoyi has been accepted into 15 universities including Harvard University, Yale University, and Stanford University, as well as was awarded over $2 million in scholarships, per the outlet. What’s more, he’s his school’s first Black National Merit Scholar.

The Alabama teen’s inspiration to apply to the prestigious universities stemmed from being previously featured on “Jeopardy!”

“It was a really fun experience but also put me in contact with some pretty cool students from across the country,” Kukoyi said, according to the outlet. “A lot of them are older and they’re like seniors or juniors that applied to many prestigious schools a lot of them are attending prestigious universities now. So that was kind of my original inspiration to apply to those universities.”

Kukoyi has made the decision to attend UNC-Chapel Hill, which he aims to propel him into a career in public health.

Supporting Underrepresented Minorities

The Nigerian-American student wants to help fellow students dream as big as he did regarding applying to schools. To aid in the financial barriers that minority students face when preparing for college, Kukoyi was a part of setting up free tutoring “for those in need of more academic support or resources, and for those seeking to take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.”


“… I feel like a lot of the disparities that we see with standardized testing are because these underrepresented minorities in low-income communities often can’t afford the same levels of [test preparation] that their wealthier counterparts get,” he said. “So by establishing free tutoring programs, that could kind of help to equalize the playing field.”

In a post on Instagram, Rotimi shared his experience while preparing for college.


“Committing to a college was the most agonizing thing I’ve ever done, so I am very sorry for the long wait. I wish I could’ve shared this information with you guys earlier, but those closest to me know that I literally did not finalize my decision until today.”

The teen was a Merit Scholar at his previous school and clearly had planned on going to Yale. However, he talks about his intent to accept the Morehead-Cain full-ride scholarship at the University of North Carolina. He wrote “I still did have the freedom to choose what school I wanted to attend. And that’s why I’ve ultimately chosen to accept a full-ride Morehead-Cain scholarship to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Because with this program, I get the freedom to choose.”


Also enthusiastic about the adventure ahead of him, he also shares the possibilities the summer holds for him as he chose to pursue a course in Public Health at the University of North Carolina.

“With the individualised advising team and the network of the program, I get to choose how to pursue my passions. A summer interning at the WHO, or a summer researching HIV in Malawi? A summer spent kayaking Lake Superior or spent hiking through the hills of Alaska? With this scholarship, I’m able to choose the path less traveled—the road not taken—and define my own journey. And have it all paid for (entering my sugar parent era)”. Exciting!

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His heartwarming post highlights his anticipation around the next four years of his life and appreciation for everyone who had been a part of his journey. He wrote:

I am extremely excited for the next four years, where i will be receiving a unique health policy & management degree from the nationally ranked gillings school of public health. at unc, i hope to lay the foundations of a career driving health equity in our nation. with this scholarship, i’ll be a student of life, with the world as my classroom and my experiences as my tests.

thank you to the family members, friends, and educators who have supported me along this journey. your advice and help have been instrumental to my own successes. i’d also like to thank the universities and scholarships that have recognised my potential—it truly saddened me that i could only choose one.i will forever cherish the friendships i’ve made with students attending other universities, and i wish you all the best and hope that we continue to maintain our relationships  promise i’ll visit

Amongst the schools which offered him a scholarship were Harvard, Yale, and Johns Hopkins. 


Source: Yahoo News

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