Martin Altenburg (on the left) and Kwasi Enin (on the right). Photo Credit: CNN
There are eight Ivy League schools in the United States: Harvard, Yale, Brown, Columbia, the University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Princeton and Cornell, and only a few students can say that they have been accepted to every one of them.
This year, Martin Altenburg was accepted into all eight Ivy League schools. In 2014, Kwasi Enin also made it to the elite eight, and is now attending Yale, which has an admissions rate of about 6%.
Most people jump straight to congratulating the students’ accomplishments, but the spotlight rarely gets to shine on parents – the adults who raised them.
Kwasi’s parents, Ebenezer Enin and Doreen Enin, immigrated to the United States from Ghana in their late 20’s. They raised Kwasi to always value education, and believed that everyone could get the very best grades in this country.
“You have all of the resources in this country to do extremely well,” Ebenezer said. “You have libraries. You have computers. You have teachers. You have online resources. There are so many things to help you. If only you are serious, you can do it. It doesn’t matter your background.”
Martin, who lives in Fargo, North Dakota, describes his parents as more hands-off and never really checked his grades. “My parents, they’re the reasons I got into all of these colleges, but not in the way that a lot of people would assume,” Martin said.
Kris Altenburg, Martin’s mother, said that since Martin’s interests were productive — he enjoyed science and playing his violin — her husband, Kent, and she gave him a lot of independence.
“I just think, if they’re doing something positive, just kind of sit back and let kids do what they need to do,” said Kris, who is a licensed practical nurse. Kent is a fundraiser for a PBS affiliate in Fargo and works for the Fargo stage union.