If you haven’t heard of Kwasi Enin by now, then you should should be ashamed of yourself. This is the young, black teenager who was accepted into all 8 Ivy League universities. According to many sources, this is a very rare feat because of each schools vastly different application process and acceptance rules.
Enin, however, is a special student. I’m sure you might have picked up on this.
He ranks No. 11 in a class of 647 at William Floyd, a large public school on Long Island’s south shore. That puts him in the top 2% of his class. His SAT score, at 2,250 out of 2,400 points, puts him in the 99th percentile for African-American students.
He will also have taken 11 Advanced Placement courses by the time he graduates this spring. He’s a musician who sings in the school’s a capella group and volunteers at Stony Brook University Hospital’s radiology department. Enin plans to study medicine, as did both of his parents.
Clearly mother and father Enin are doing the right things with their child, but we must step back as a community and make sure we are sharing his achievement with the youth of today. Not because he will be attending an Ivy League school, but because he represents black excellence.
Often times we get caught up in talking about our long and glorious past, but fail to realize that past isn’t moving to the youth of today. They need to be inspired and shown our greatness in action, right now…today.
Kwasi Enin represents that greatness in each one of our children and young adults today. He is a beacon in the sea of negativity spewed upon our young people and should be held up for that.
If we could get some assistance by the black media, entertaininers and rappers to highlight the likes of this young man and many others around the country, we will find the change in the community we all want so desparately. However, this isn’t going to happen if we are just sitting back and being idol.
If we want our celebrities, entertainers and those with a larger platform to get behind positive stories like this one, then we have to demand it. We have to call for them to do so by not supporting them when they deviate from the positive messages we all know is best for our young people. We have to start standing up and thinking about our long term future, not just our short term fun.
Our young people are starving for modern day examples of black excellence. Kwasi Enin is just the tip of the iceberg, but let’s make sure we get that tip put there and show our young people the potential that lies below the surface.
PUBLIC NOTE: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the Urban Intellectuals, affiliates or partners.