A Black teen is going viral over his reaction to finding out that he was admitted to Harvard University.
In a video posted by his mother LaShonda NeSmith-Jackson, Dre’Shon Jackson, a senior at Wilson High School in Florence, South Carolina, was ecstatic once he learned earlier this month that he was accepted to Harvard, per ABC News.
“I didn’t know what was gonna happen. I wasn’t sure if I was gonna get in, deferred, rejected and I was just like, my future pretty much [hangs] on this one letter,” Dre’Shon said. “I clicked the button and all I could see was confetti and the word congratulations. And I didn’t care about anything else on the screen, I was just like, ‘I got in!'”
Dre’Shon’s mother recalled a pivotal moment in her son’s life when a local senator read a book about leaders and followers during his preschool graduation.
“The message was you can either be a follower or you can be a leader. You can either be a chicken as grounded or you can be an eagle that really soars above the clouds,” LaShonda said.
The book sparked a tradition between the mother-son duo where LaShonda would ask her son whether he wanted to be a leader or a follower.
“And at 4 years old, when I asked him that, I’m sure he didn’t understand,” she said. “Every single day, before he got out of my vehicle, I would ask him this to set the tone for when he goes to school.”
Dre’Shon said he included the tradition in his written application for Harvard.
“Those questions throughout my entire life allowed me to have what I call the eagle mindset,” he said. “I will soar above everyone else and I will be a leader in any situation that I’m in. And so that became the basis of my essay to get into Harvard.”
The high school senior hopes to be an attorney and politician and is “excited” to join the class of 2028 next fall.
Watch the video of Dre’Shon’s reaction here.
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