Update 04/29: Enin has selected Yale.

Eight for eight.  Congratulations!

Kwasi Enin was accepted by eight Ivies.  Also three state schools and Duke.  If you don’t feel inadequate enough, he also plays three instruments for chamber orchestra, has taken 11 AP classes, participates in track and field, sings in an acappella group, and is active in theater.

Also he volunteers at a hospital.

Also, since I know you want to know, his parents immigrated here from Ghana.

USA Today seems to want to downplay his accomplishments by quoting somebody who talks about how “colleges are looking for great boys,” and how Enin’s SAT is in the 99th percentile for “African-American” students.  I’m pretty sure a 2250 is in the high 90’s for all test takers*, but whatever.

See CNN video here.

*Edited to add:  I looked it up on the College Board site.  Although percentiles are listed by individual section, assuming a 750 on each test puts Enin in the 97th or 98th percentile for ALL TEST TAKERS.  Combined score might nudge that number up.


Braille printers reportedly can cost around $2,000. Seventh-grader Shubham Banerjee built one for about $350. From Legos.  And he’s putting the information out on the internet, so people can access it for free.

Edited to add:  Banerjee’s father writes a longer explanation here.

Meet Blake Ansari.

He is six years old.  And he saw a need.  So he started a book drive for homeless children.  He collected and distributed 600 books.  His next plan?  To build a library.  Here’s what his mother reports he said:

When you listen to the community, learn from the community, and help the community, you connect to your best self.

Thanks to Shakesville for the link.

‘Derek Ouyang, home improver with a green goal’

He led Stanford’s effort in the Solar Decathlon to design and build an accessible, technologically alert house that puts the power to save power in the hands of the people who live in it.

Read the question and answer here.  (NB:  Don’t watch the video as it first plays an ad, then briefly shows two photographs of Ouyang, and then cuts to the reporter talking about how you should read the Q&A.)

‘An Adoptee Returns to South Korea, and Changes Follow’

This is a NY Times article about Jane Jeong Trenka’s work in Korea.  Go read it.

By then, South Korea was beginning to change its stance on adoption. As the country became the world’s latest economic miracle, the government slowly began to whittle down the number of international adoptions that many saw as a national shame. Still, experts say the government was unwilling to take steps many felt were needed to shift the country’s mind-set until it was forced to by Ms. Trenka and her fellow adoptees, who were joined in their campaign by unwed mothers. They tirelessly lobbied lawmakers, wrote blogs, held protests and filed complaints with the human rights commission.

*                                 *                                 *

The returnees’ leadership was instrumental to changing the way South Korea viewed adoptions,” said the Rev. Kim Do-hyun, director of KoRoot, an advocacy group for Korean adoptees.

[I was taken aback by the contrast between the great head on this article (“An Adoptee Returns to South Korea, and Changes Follow”) vs. the head on the letters to the editor (“A South Korean Adoptee, Caught Between Two Worlds”). Personally I think the “caught between two worlds” thing is cliched and overdone to death, and is reflective of the way white people think about folks of color. Additionally I was greatly annoyed by the letter writers (adoptive parents all) and their bullshit, and you are therefore warned that this link may cause extreme aggravation.]

“An Indian Inventor Disrupts the Period Industry”

I noticed recently how often the shelter here requests sanitary products for its guests. It is a real problem for women all over the world. In India, up steps Arunachalam Muruganantham:

When Arunachalam Muruganantham hit a wall in his research on creating a sanitary napkin for poor women, he decided to do what most men typically wouldn’t dream of. He wore one himself–for a whole week. Fashioning his own menstruating uterus by filling a bladder with goat’s blood, Muruganantham went about his life while wearing women’s underwear, occasionally squeezing the contraption to test out his latest iteration. It resulted in endless derision and almost destroyed his family. But no one is laughing at him anymore, as the sanitary napkin-making machine he went on to create is transforming the lives of rural women across India.



Photo by Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times

Meet Allan Guei, shown at the far right of the photograph.  Guei won $40,000 in a free-throw competition  for college-bound students from Compton.  What does he plan to do with the money?

He plans to give it to the seven runners-up:

“They were all smart and wanted to pursue their dreams, but were having financial difficulties,” Guei said after basketball practice recently. “I felt it was the right move to help the others, especially when everything else was taking off for me.”

Story here.