Charlotte Mecklenburg schools begin its graduation ceremonies June 9th. More than 67 hundred students will get a diploma from CMS this year. This week we are highlighting some super students..students who have achieved greatness early in life. WBTV's Dedrick Russell introduces us to a senior who's ready to save lives.
"I just worked hard. I set my goals. It's a matter of focusing."
Those are the simple ingredients Amlak Bantikassegn says he did to get the opportunity of a lifetime. Listen to this...He will go to college and medical school....free.
Amlak says: "It was a complete surprise I had no idea."
I'll explain how he did it later but first..The senior is a student at Math, Engineering, Technology and Science school at Olympic. Amlak came to America from Ethiopia five years ago and landed at CMS three years ago. He has a 4.78 Grade point average and is expected to be the valedictorian of his class. This senior says recently he had to make some tough decisions. Here's his toughest one yet.
"Turning down Princeton was one of the hardest decisions I've ever made. I've always wanted to go there but you couldn't say no to Williams."
The reason he said no to Princeton University and yes to Williams College is Williams is paying not only for his four year degree but his medical school too. That scholarship is worth around 378 thousand dollars. Listen to how he did it.
"I didn't do anything special for it they just did it for me I just turned in my college application."
Obviously Wiliams saw something special in Amlak. And because of the student's hard work...He will be able to become a doctor to fight a disease that attacked his mom.
"I shadowed doctor and talked to cancer patients I really got interested in that experience my family has my mom had cancer that was the real motivator for me."
I ended my conversation with the future doctor by asking him what has he learned about himself during his senior year.
"I learned I am tenacious I really goal oriented I learned about myself I can take pressure."
Talking about goal oriented. Amlak says he applied to 16 college and was accepted to all 16...We're talking about colleges like Duke, Davidson, Cornell, Johns Hopkins and others. By the way he says his mom is now cancer-free. Amlak graduates June 13th.