Great Eight: Ivy Leagues Accept Elmont Teen

From left: Sewanhaka Superintendent Dr. Ralph Ferrie, Elmont Memorial’s 2015 salutatorian and Intel Science Talent Search semi-finalist Harold Ekeh, teacher Michelle Flannory and Principal John Capozzi

Elmont Memorial High School salutatorian Harold Ekeh has been accepted to all eight Ivy League schools. The high school senior, who has earned a 100.51 grade point average, applied and was accepted to 13 colleges.

Ekeh hopes to study biochemistry and neurobiology. He is planning visits to Harvard, MIT and Princeton University, but said he is leaning toward attending Yale University.

“I visited Yale with my school’s Model UN team and I loved how passionate the people were,” Ekeh said.

Ekeh was recognized as an Intel Science Talent Search semifinalist for research into with Parkinson’s disease. The paper was called “The role of PARP-1 in MeHg-induced dopaminergic dysfunction and mitochondrial DNA depletion.”

“I’ve had a strong support system at Elmont,” Ekeh said. “This accomplishment is because of the true dedication of my teachers.”

Ekeh’s obsession with science began at age 11. His grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Ekeh’s first question was ‘why?’

“I wanted to know how I could prevent this disease in my family,” he said. “I know it’s an aggressive disease so I wanted to pursue research in neurological disorders.”

He also serves as a math and science tutor for local students.

“Harold boasts an impressive list of acadmeic honors,” Elmont Memorial principal John Capozzi said.

Ekeh has to make a final decision by May 1 and said the response he received from the colleges he applied to was “beyond his wildest dreams.”

“I did try my best and tried to take advantage of everything my high school had to offer. Now I’m going to see where I feel the most comfortable,” Ekeh said. “This is a very exciting moment in my life and I’m very grateful.”

Sewanhaka Central High School District officials feel Ekeh’s accomplishments bode well for his bright future.

“It’s just amazing,” District Superintendent Dr. Ralph Ferrie said. “I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to observe our students as they present their projects in Elmont.”


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