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Nigerian teen gets 19 scholarship offers worth $5 million from top North American universities

Victory scored A* in all 6 subjects of the Cambridge IGCSE exam and also scored straight As in her West African Senior School Certificate Examination.

Nigerian teen gets 19 scholarship offers worth $5 million from top North American universities
Image source: Twitter/@VictoryYBanjo

A 17-year-old high school graduate from Nigeria has 19 full-ride scholarship offers from top universities in the United States and Canada. Victory Yinka-Banjo was always a top student but she just didn't realize how good she is. Victory shot to national spotlight after scoring straight As in her West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) in 2020. She had also been rated as "Top in the World" in English as a second language (speaking endorsement) by the University of Cambridge International Examination (CIE). Not to mention, Victory scored A* in all six subjects of the Cambridge IGCSE exam. She also a senior prefect in high school. All the big universities came calling, offering her $5 million dollars worth of scholarship money for an undergraduate program of study, reported CNN.



The 17-year-old is stunned by the number of scholarship offers she was getting. "It still feels pretty unbelievable. I applied to so many schools because I didn't even think any school would accept me," said Victory. She now has potential full scholarships from the Ivy League schools Yale College, Princeton University, Harvard College, and Brown University. Some of the other US scholarships include the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford University, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Virginia. She was also offered the Lester B. Pearson scholarship from the University of Toronto and the Karen McKellin International Leader of Tomorrow (KMILOT) scholarship from the University of British Columbia, in Canada. The 17-year-old has got a huge confidence boost since. She said the multiple scholarship offers "have made me stand taller, smile wider, and pat myself on the back more often."



Victory's parents are Chika Yinka-Banjo, a senior lecturer at the University of Lagos, and Adeyinka Banjo, a private sector procurement, and supply chain executive. The 17-year-old says getting scholarship offers from top colleges feel surreal. "Their admissions processes are extremely selective," said Victory. "They only accept the best of the best. So, you can imagine how, on a daily basis, I have to remind myself that I actually got into these schools." 


While Victory is humble about her achievements, she knows it's the results of the hours she put in on a daily basis. "They have made me truly feel proud about the hard work I have put into several areas of my life over the years. I am slowly beginning to realize that I deserve them," said Victory. She is yet to decide on the schools and scholarship offers before her but she added that she hoped to study Computational Biology. Currently, she is weighing up her options and lists Stanford, Harvard, MIT, Duke, and Johns Hopkins, as top of her list.  

Victory's mother, Chika, is hoping her daughter's story will open doors for others in Nigeria and inspire them. "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. She completed her secondary school here [in Nigeria]. It would be great if her story can be used to inspire the youths of our country," Chika said. Victory is currently tutoring others who are trying to get university admissions via radio. She helps them with subjects such as math, English language, biology, chemistry, and physics.

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