Teen 'Jeopardy' star accepted into 15 universities, earns $2 million in scholarships

vt-author-image

By Asiya Ali

Article saved!Article saved!

Teenage Jeopardy star Rotimi Kukoyi has been accepted into more than 15 universities and has received more than $2 million in scholarship offers.

The high school senior from Hoover, Alabama, is the first Black National Merit Scholar at his school, and was accepted into universities including the Ivy Leagues Harvard and Yale.

Kukoyi revealed that he was motivated to apply to the prestigious academies after appearing on the Jeopardy Teen Tournament as a freshman in 2018 and meeting students from across the country.

"It was [a] really fun experience but also put me in contact with some pretty cool students from across the country," Kukoyi said on Good Morning America.

"A lot of them are older and they're like seniors or juniors that applied to many prestigious schools (and) a lot of them are attending prestigious universities now. So that was kind of my original inspiration to apply to those universities," he added.

After his multiple acceptances, Kukoyi selected the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as his chosen school to pursue a career in public health.

Kukoyi was awarded the university's Morehead-Cain Scholarship - the oldest merit scholarship program in the country.

The high school senior decided to study public health because of the pandemic and his experience in helping the Alabama Department of Health get residents vaccinated.

"Covid really sparked [my interest in public health] because that was the first time that I really saw how clear the health inequities were," Kukoyi said.

The star student added that during the pandemic he saw that African Americans had a much "higher chance of dying" from Covid-19 than white Americans, adding that it was like there were "two separate pandemics" impacting the US.

With his university planning now underway, Kukoyi says he hopes to encourage other students to apply to schools they may not have considered before.

"A lot of kids that I talked to didn't think they could apply to the bigger schools or get into the bigger schools or were concerned about the costs," he said. "But there are other resources available to students to kind of help with that."

The soon-to-be UNC student noted that competitive schools offer "much more extensive financial aid" than state schools, which is why more young people should apply to them.

Kukoyi is a child of immigrants, plays soccer, and was in his school's student government. Still, despite all his achievements, he says he wants to be known for helping people, especially in his community.

"I want my legacy to be one that's focused on impacting other people. I suppose a lot of people in the pursuit of their own goals can kind of forget what it's all about," he said.

Featured image credit: Vladimir Drozdin / Alamy.

Teen 'Jeopardy' star accepted into 15 universities, earns $2 million in scholarships

vt-author-image

By Asiya Ali

Article saved!Article saved!

Teenage Jeopardy star Rotimi Kukoyi has been accepted into more than 15 universities and has received more than $2 million in scholarship offers.

The high school senior from Hoover, Alabama, is the first Black National Merit Scholar at his school, and was accepted into universities including the Ivy Leagues Harvard and Yale.

Kukoyi revealed that he was motivated to apply to the prestigious academies after appearing on the Jeopardy Teen Tournament as a freshman in 2018 and meeting students from across the country.

"It was [a] really fun experience but also put me in contact with some pretty cool students from across the country," Kukoyi said on Good Morning America.

"A lot of them are older and they're like seniors or juniors that applied to many prestigious schools (and) a lot of them are attending prestigious universities now. So that was kind of my original inspiration to apply to those universities," he added.

After his multiple acceptances, Kukoyi selected the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as his chosen school to pursue a career in public health.

Kukoyi was awarded the university's Morehead-Cain Scholarship - the oldest merit scholarship program in the country.

The high school senior decided to study public health because of the pandemic and his experience in helping the Alabama Department of Health get residents vaccinated.

"Covid really sparked [my interest in public health] because that was the first time that I really saw how clear the health inequities were," Kukoyi said.

The star student added that during the pandemic he saw that African Americans had a much "higher chance of dying" from Covid-19 than white Americans, adding that it was like there were "two separate pandemics" impacting the US.

With his university planning now underway, Kukoyi says he hopes to encourage other students to apply to schools they may not have considered before.

"A lot of kids that I talked to didn't think they could apply to the bigger schools or get into the bigger schools or were concerned about the costs," he said. "But there are other resources available to students to kind of help with that."

The soon-to-be UNC student noted that competitive schools offer "much more extensive financial aid" than state schools, which is why more young people should apply to them.

Kukoyi is a child of immigrants, plays soccer, and was in his school's student government. Still, despite all his achievements, he says he wants to be known for helping people, especially in his community.

"I want my legacy to be one that's focused on impacting other people. I suppose a lot of people in the pursuit of their own goals can kind of forget what it's all about," he said.

Featured image credit: Vladimir Drozdin / Alamy.