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Memphis student gets accepted into 4 Ivy League schools

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In life, we can all choose to let a bad moment make us break or break us.  Memphis University School student Joshua Hawkins chose to let it push him to excel. In life, we can all choose to let a bad moment make us break or break us. Memphis University School student Joshua Hawkins chose to let it push him to excel.
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC) - Many students dream of being accepted into an Ivy League school.  A Memphis graduate not only got accepted to one, but four.  The young man used the obstacles he was tossed to get him where he is today.

In life, we can all choose to let a bad moment make us break or break us.  Memphis University School student Joshua Hawkins chose to let it push him to excel. 

"I never would have expected to get into all the schools that I got into and I'm just thanking God for his blessings," said Hawkins. 

Joshua Hawkins, 18, is in awe of his four Ivy League university acceptance letters. 

"Princeton, Brown, Yale and Harvard," he said.

Hawkins has taken summer classes at Brown and Yale, but never thought he'd land at Harvard University. 

"It is very unusual but when you're talking about a dynamic young man like Joshua, it's not," said Director of College Counseling Brian Smith.

Even though this is all exciting for Hawkins, he credits one moment in the 8th grade with changing his outlook.  A large dictionary was left on his desk, opened to a page with the n-word highlighted and circled. 

"I feel like that encounter , that obstacle, actually helped me in my growth as a student a human being," said Hawkins.

As a result, Joshua and his friends started a diversity group that the school supports wholeheartedly.  But, Hawkins will embark on a whole new journey this fall, one that hasn't quite sunk in yet. 

"I'm excited and nervous at the same time," said Hawkins.  "It's what I've been working for and it's finally paid off," he added.  Fast forward ten years and Hawkins hopes to be out of law school. 

He plans to come back to Memphis to help build up the impoverished community around the church his late uncle Bishop GE Patterson built. 

"Seeing people walk out from church going back to their homes in really a desecrated community full of poverty is really a shocking thing to me," said Hawkins. 

In all, Hawkins applied to seven schools.  Stanford was the only school that didn't accept his application.  He's graduating with a 4.8 GPA, an SAT score of 2130, and an ACT score of 34.

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