NC high school senior accepted to 5 Ivy League colleges

Ernaya Johnson (WBTV)

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) – A Rocky River High School senior is celebrating an incredible achievement after being accepted to 10 different colleges, including 5 Ivy League schools.

Ernaya Johnson says she’s been overwhelmed after getting acceptance letters from all of the schools over the last few weeks.

“I thought I might just get accepted to one or maybe two,” Johnson said.

The 18-year-old came to Rocky River in the 9th grade already taking AP classes. Her guidance counselor Carrie Cleveland said, “When a student challenges themselves to an AP class, that’s huge.”

Cleveland says Johnson is the first student at Rocky River to receive the swarm of acceptance letters. So far, Johnson has been accepted to Harvard, Columbia, Dartmouth, UPenn, Brown, Duke, UNC Chapel Hill, Swarthmore, University of Ohio and John’s Hopkins.

Renee McCoy, a spokesperson with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools says there’s a strong possibility Johnson might be the first student in the system to celebrate such an achievement. McCoy says college acceptances aren’t officially tracked so there’s no way to be sure for certain.

Johnson found out she was accepted to several of the schools, including Harvard, by searching on an application portal site for the schools. “When I looked at the one from Harvard, I took a screen shot and texted it to my Mom,” Johnson said.

“We knew this day was going to come and that she was going to do well, we just didn’t know how great of a day it was going to be,” said Johnson’s mother Patrice Mitchell.

Mitchell was out running errands when her daughter texted her, “All of a sudden I just busted into tears, like uncontrollable crying, and people were asking if I’m ok,” Mitchell said, “I said ‘I’m ok! My daughter just got into Harvard!”

Johnson was born curious according to her mother, “She’s always asked, why, why, why? And every time she did, we’d go to the library so she could find out.”

Ernaya says is still working to determine which school she’ll go to and wants to make a decision that best fits the future of her academic career.

“I think I’ve tried really hard just to be the best person I could and to utilize the gifts that I’ve been given and make the biggest difference that I could in helping other people,” Johnson said. She hopes to study neuroscience in college.

Johnson is not just academically talented, but is also very involved in extra-curricular activities at Rocky River. She’s the president of the Student Government Organization, the captain of the women’s varsity soccer team. She’s also involved with the Optimist Club and the Speech and Debate team.

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