Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Article: Igbo Young Geniuses Triumph In New York

Augusta Uwamanzu-Nna


By Emeka Chiakwelu

If I can make it there
I'll make it anywhere
It's up to you
New York, New York   -   Frank Sinatra

Igbo Nigerian-Americans have finally arrived and now they are making it in New York. They are living the American dream in the Big Apple.

Yes, another Igbo American teen is repeating a history made previously by another Igbo teenager in New York.  She is Augusta Uwamanzu-Nna, who was recently accepted by all 8 Ivy leagues Colleges in America including other four major universities - Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
 Harold Ekek was the one that came earlier before her. Both teens are New Yorkers from same Elmont Memorial High school.
This is how Voice of America (VOA) put it: 
For the second year in a row, a teenager from Nigeria has accomplished what few U.S. high school students can — getting accepted into all eight Ivy League schools.
Augusta Uwamanzu-Nna, whose parents came to the U.S. from Nigeria, has until May 1 to decide whether she'll attend one of the prestigious U.S. universities.
Last year, Nigeria-born Harold Ekeh chose to attend Yale University after having his pick of all eight Ivy League schools.”
I am still researching to find out whether any student in America has ever accomplished this lofty task before these two Igbo teenagers.
The families of these two teenagers came from Igbo tribe of Nigeria. The Igbo people are one of the largest ethnic groups in Nigeria and Africa. Igbo’s are predominantly found in Eastern part of Nigeria but are also dispersed around Nigeria, Africa and beyond.

“Augusta is valedictorian at Elmont Memorial High School, where she has a 101.64 weighted grade point average. The school is no stranger to academic superstars: Last year, senior Harold Ekeh scored the same number of Ivy acceptances….
Augusta, who was a finalist in the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search, will showcase her project — research on cement that will keep oil rigs intact— at the White House Science Fair next week. She wants to continue her passion for biochemistry and environmental studies. For now, she has until May 1 to decide which college wins her acceptance,” as reported by NBC News USA.
Even in Britain about few years ago, two young sisters of Igbo heritage scored the highest points in the country’s GCSEs. In 2013  Chindi Ota the then 16 year old got 13A’s  and  two As, the highest grade points “ in English language, English literature, maths, statistics, French, history, biology, chemistry, physics, RE and an ICT qualification worth three GCSEs. The two As were in sociology and German.. In 2010, her sister Chidera, who is studying medicine at Cambridge, managed to get 15 A*s in the same exams, but both insist there is no sibling rivalry,” as reported by Kentonline.. 

Chanda Chisala, a Visiting fellow at Stanford University in his famous essays “killing Jensen”  argued factually against racial-IQ-hereditarianism and documented Igbo high academic achievements in Britain to demolish the so-called low IQ among Black Africans:

“The igbo were even more impressive given their much bigger numbers (and their consistently high performance over the years, gaining a 100 percent pass rate in 2009!). The superior Igbo achievement on GCSEs is not new and has been noted in studies that came before the recent media discovery of African performance. A 2007report on “case study” model schools in Lambeth also included a rare disclosure of specified Igbo performance (recorded as Ibo in the table below) and it confirms that Igbos have been performing exceptionally well for a long time (5 + A*-C GCSEs); in fact, it is difficult to find a time when they ever performed below British whites.”

As for Harold Ekeh, he has finally settled for Yale University for his undergraduate studies anchoring and concentrating on scientific research and medical studies.

Augusta Uwamanzu-Nna gave advice to relentless and ambitious New York and American students: "Try and figure out what your passion is, try to figure out what you are passionate about, what you like and enjoy and talk about what you have learned."

(Emeka  Chiakwelu, Principal Policy Strategist at AFRIPOL)

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