A Texas teen got into 20 universities with full scholarships to each one, leaving his mother “in awe,” she said.
“I’m very grateful, I’m very thankful,” his mum, Berthinia Rutledge-Brown, said. “I know that he has done an amazing job, and I get to watch him every day. It’s just normal to me.”
Michael Brown, 17, is a senior at Lamar High School in Houston. He got into schools including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford and Georgetown.
Brown’s mum describes him as “hardworking” and “caring.”
“He wants this to be an example and inspiration for other kids that if they work hard and use their resources, they can do whatever they set their minds to,” Rutledge-Brown said.
Brown is part of a programme called EMERGE Fellowship.
According to its website, the programme “empowers and prepares high performing students from under-served communities to attend and graduate from selective colleges and universities across the nation.”
Rutledge-Brown said that although she knew her son had the grades to get scholarships, she never imagined anything like this.
“This has exceeded anything I ever thought. When I went to college, I paid for it myself,” Rutledge-Brown said. “I really knew that when we went to the EMERGE orientation and saw the people that came back to speak, he would be able to go to school.”
“It’s surprising I was accepted to all of them,” Micheal said in response.
The young man is involved in a long list of extracurricular activities, including debate and volunteering in community service.
Michael, who comes from Houston’s economically challenged Third Ward, was able to make it happen thanks to a 4.68 GPA and inspiration from his mother, Berthinia Rutledge-Brown, who finished her degree while he was in elementary school. He has more options than he ever imagined.
“After she (Berthinia Rutledge-Brown) got divorced, she decided she needed to get a better job,” Micheal said. She enrolled at Houston Community College and worked hard to become a licensed counselor when Micheal was eight or nine years old.
“That’s the first time I understood what going to college might look like,” he said. “And seeing how important it was to my mum was important to me. I don’t even think she really knew that I saw, that it had an impact on me — but it did.”
Micheal hasn’t made a final decision on which school he will choose yet. He said that he’s narrowed his list to seven schools: Northwestern, Georgetown, Stanford, and the four Ivy League schools — Princeton, Yale, Penn, Harvard.
Micheal was also accepted to Amherst, Vanderbilt, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Texas. He says he got serious about college toward the end of ninth grade.
He said it will likely come down to Harvard and Stanford and he will visit both schools soon, but no decision will be made before May 1.
His ultimate goal is to go to law school.
“He wants to come back to Houston and work in the community,” his mum, Rutledge-Brown said.