First, it says that she walks by abandoned buildings and businesses on her way to and from school every day. I thought abandoned buildings had some sort of magical power — All you had to do is walk past one, and it instilled in you the desire to commit a violent crime.
Second, she resists the youth culture that dominates Normandy High. I thought the “wrong crowd” was like a black hole whose gravitational attraction was so strong that nobody or nothing could resist getting sucked in.
Third, she has attended four different schools since the eighth grade. I thought everyone who changed schools a lot was such a hopeless loser that they might as well have dropped out and started dealing crack.
Now, let’s cut to the chase:
She scored a 27 on her ACT, when the average composite score at Normandy High last year was a 16. No one has ever scored higher than a 27 at the high school, according to the school district.
Last summer, Eboni attended a journalism program at Princeton University. There, instructors helped her decide on a college. She chose Columbia.
She applied, and then waited. On Dec. 8, while editing the school newspaper after school, she logged on to the university’s website. It was 4 p.m. — the time the university would post its acceptance and rejection letters for early admissions. Eboni pulled up the letter addressed to her. “Congratulations!” it began.
Along with the acceptance notification, Eboni received another letter saying all expenses were paid.
Her goal is to become a journalist.
She knows many of her college classmates will come from elite high schools with stronger academic backgrounds. And she knows she’ll have to work harder than many of them to make up for it.
While Eboni’s ACT score is high for Normandy students, it is on the bottom edge of Columbia’s incoming freshmen. Columbia’s admissions office “takes a broad range of qualifications and characteristics into consideration” when reviewing applicants, university spokeswoman Katherine Cutler said.
And if you don’t know how to translate that PR jargon into English, then you’re hopeless. I can assure you that the “range of qualifications and characteristics” weren’t really “broad” in the case of whether to admit Miss Boykin.
I got a 30 on my ACT. Not good enough for any Ivies. Cornell College (Iowa) was the best private school that would admit a classmate whose ACT score was the same 27 as Miss Bokyin’s. Though ACT scores then and now might be apples and oranges, especially if the ACT has engaged in any of this “recentering” monkeyshine that the SAT has.