'A weight off my shoulders': Local teen accepted to three Ivy League universities

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"Finding out I’d been offered a space at multiple universities felt like a star-spangled hand lifting a weight off my shoulders." Photo: Suppled/ Eli Osei
"Finding out I’d been offered a space at multiple universities felt like a star-spangled hand lifting a weight off my shoulders." Photo: Suppled/ Eli Osei

More and more young South Africans are increasingly considering offshore study opportunities to improve their earning potential and employability.

Joining fellow local young achiever, Sazi Bongwe, and many others is Eli Osei, a Saint John's College alumni whose been accepted at three Ivy League Universities: Yale, Princeton and UPenn. 

According to the World Scholarship Forum, the Ivy League is an American collegiate athletic conference consisting of eight private research universities in the North-Eastern United States.  

The recent matriculant has already racked up an impressive number of national and international awards during his school career, and this achievement is a testament to his incredible hard work. 

Osei is a published writer and photographer, award-winning playwright, director, actor, editor, and keen debater, clearly this teen demonstrates academic potential, passion, and intellectual ability. 

Read: 'I am thrilled': Joburg matriculant who is going to Harvard shares what this means to him

Osei told News24 during an interview that being accepted into multiple universities, including the three Ivy League universities, felt like a star-spangled hand lifting a weight off his shoulders, and it was incredibly humbling.

Of course, getting this far required so much hard work on Osei's part, and his matric exams showed that hard work. Osei completed Cambridge's A-Levels Curriculum - an International British curriculum that has become a prevalent choice for homeschooling learners.

A Cambridge Curriculum also allows pupils to obtain an internationally accredited education while offering the benefits of self-paced learning.


Must read: Homeschooled teen wins Science Expo with potential nanotech solution to Covid-19

"Over two years, I took five AS-Level subjects: Maths, English Language & Literature, History, Drama, and Physics and three A-Level subjects: Maths, English Literature, and History," says Osei.

Commenting on his results, this teen told us, "I did a lot better than I thought I would, and my parents expected me to – they're the best. I received 5 As in my AS-Level exams and 2 As in my A-Level exams."

Osei is busy researching and comparing the three universities that gave him an offer as he is still unsure what he will study eventually, because he was initially set on studying film.

But having thought about that over the last few months, he has had second thoughts. He'd like to do a double-major in either Politics, Philosophy, History, or English and Theatre.

"What's nice about the universities I applied to is that students only have to declare what they are studying at the end of their second year. So, I plan on using those first few semesters to explore my different interests," says Osei.

Also read: Local high school students tackle injustice with a new online platform

In the meantime, he is working on a physical magazine with the friends he started Ukuzibuza, an online platform sharing young people's thoughts, opinions and commentary.

"I'm also working on a community-reporting organisation called Youth Voice with some other friends. I spent March visiting family and job-shadowing the playwright Ameera Conrad in London," added Osei.

Osei says that he finds joy through many forms of writing, so he'd love to have the ability to bounce between film, theatre, journalism, and novel work.

"I want to create as much as possible. I want to tell representative stories that produce empathetic readers and audiences. I've also become quite passionate about policy and its capacity to create change. So that's also something I'm interested in pursuing. I don't exactly know how I'd balance the two, but I suppose university is for figuring things out," shared Osei.

Above all, it seems this teen would love to find himself working at the intersection of everything he enjoys.

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