ELMONT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Eight is a lucky number for Harold Ekeh. The Salutatorian from Elmont High School on Long Island just achieved a remarkable and rare accomplishment; acceptance to all eight prestigious Ivy League schools.
As CBS2's Chris Wragge reported, 8-years-ago the Ekeh family arrived in America from their native Nigeria.
"Absolutely shocked. It was as though I was hit repeatedly. I was stunned," Ekeh said.
Ekeh pointed to his family's humble beginnings, thirst for education and desire to make a meaningful mark on society as his inspiration.
"I am just thanking god for what he is doing for my family in the life of my son," Harold's mother Roseline said.
Roseline works in Queens for a human resources agency. His father Paul works with the NYPD's traffic division.
Long Island Whiz Kid Accepted To All Eight Ivy League Schools
"I am overwhelmed. To say that I am proud is not enough, it is awesome," Paul said.
From the first day in his community, Harold began volunteering for social justice campaigns, academic mentoring, got involved with sports, was elected to Elmont's homecoming court and honor society, but mostly spent his years working intricate complicated bio-chemistry experiments.
"Kids would say, 'I want to be a firefighter or a police officer or a superhero.' I would say I want to explore the human body, what makes us who we are," he said, "I would like to be a neurosurgeon when I grow up."
Ekeh told WCBS 880's Sophia Hall he wants to find a cure for Alzheimer's; his grandmother was diagnosed with the disease.
The 17-year-old is leaning towards Yale, but hasn't visited the other Ivies, which he plans to do next week.
"I am very humbled by this. I see this as not an accomplishment for me, but as an accomplishment for my school, my community," Harold said, "Because I really see this as my mission to inspire the next generation."
Another Long Island student was recently accepted to all eight Ivy League schools. Kwasi Enin made national news in 2014 when he graduated from William Floyd High School. He decided to attend Yale.
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