17-year-old Victory Yinka-Banjo has received acceptance and full-ride scholarships from several Ivy League universities in both the United States and Canada. The Nigerian native tells CNN how she feels about her accomplishments.
“It still feels pretty unbelievable,” Yinka-Banjo tells the press. “I applied to so many schools because I didn’t even think any school would accept me,” the teen says.
Victory is a straight-A student who started receiving national attention last year after she scored all A’s in her West African Senior School Certification Exam (WASSCE). Yinka-Banjo has also been rated as “Top In The World” in her English as a Second Language (ESL) speaking endorsement as reported by the University of Cambridge International Examination.
“[The public recognition has] made me truly feel proud about the hard work I have put into several areas of my life over the years,” Victory tells media. “I am slowly beginning to realize that I deserve them,” the teen declares.
Yinka-Banjo’s mom, Chika Yinka-Banjo, is a senior lecturer at the University of Lagos in Nigeria. The teen’s father, Adeyinka Banjo, is a private sector procurement and supply chain executive.
“It is noteworthy that she is not one of the Nigerian-Americans who often get into these schools because of their advantage of being born and bred in the US,” Chika says of her daughter’s accomplishments. “She completed her secondary school here [in Nigeria],” Mrs. Banjo shares. “It would be great if her story can be used to inspire the youths of our country.”
Victory Yinka-Banjo has received offers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as well as Stanford University, Johns Hopkins University, Duke University, and the University of Virginia. Harvard University and Yale University also offered admission to the teen.
In Canada, Victory was accepted to the University of Toronto with the Lester B. Pearson scholarship attached to such an admission offer. The University of British Columbia offered the rising scholar the Karen McKellin International Leader of Tomorrow (KMILOT) scholarship along with acceptance. It is estimated that Victory has been offered $5 million in scholarships to date.
“I have to remind myself that I actually got into these schools. It is surreal,” Victory exclaims. “I am still doing research on some schools that are at the top of my list, like Stanford, Harvard, MIT, Duke, Johns Hopkins, and just trying to compare and contrast all of them thoroughly.”
Photo: Ruth Yinka-Banjo/CNN