DUPLIN COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) – The transition from high school to college for one student here in the East is about to be a bit less stressful after winning a nationwide scholarship that landed him at an Ivy League school.
For James Kenan High School senior Eli Bostic, the last four years have been spent playing two school sports, working a full-time job, and managing his grades.
Those grades ultimately won him the Gates Scholarship which will allow him to attend any university of his choosing for free, and after being accepted to 21 schools in the country, it wasn’t an easy choice.
“About two weeks ago I was really struggling to make a decision and I kind of woke up and I was like Harvard is it, that is the place I want to go and I haven’t gone back since,” Bostic said.
For some students, managing a full course load and needing to work to pay for tuition is a struggle, but luckily Bostic won’t have to worry about that.
“I feel like being able to just focus on schoolwork and then if I decide to join any clubs, just having the free time to be able to do those things is going to be really beneficial for me moving to Boston is going to be a change. I feel like having a free time since I don’t have to work will be really relieving” Bostic said.
After applying to 24 schools, Bostic says that having the support of family and faculty helped him stay focused.
“There were sometimes when I was very discouraged and very overwhelmed by the amount of things that were going on and having people to lean on was very important,” Bostic says.
James Kenan High School principal Michael Holton says he’s incredibly proud of Bostic, sharing that when he first came to James Kenan High School, he hung posters in the halls advertising colleges and what it took to get into them, one of those being Harvard, which sparked a lot of different opinions among students.
“A lot of comments were made like why you would put up a Harvard sign up, and I just believed in our kids that they could accomplish anything and Eli is the first to actually accomplish that and be accepted into Harvard” Principal Holton said.
Principal Holton says that he hopes Bostic’s acceptance into Harvard will help show other students that academic dedication pays off.
Not only did Bostic win the Gates Scholarship, but he is also a finalist for The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, which recognizes the most prestigious high school students for their academic achievements.
He will attend Harvard in the fall where he will major in computer science.