Providence Academy senior nets ‘Ivy League Sweep’

| April 18, 2017 | 0 Comments

Liking something about each Ivy League school, Providence Academy senior Derek Onserio decided to apply to all eight.

“I could see myself at all of the schools, essentially,” he said.

Derek Onserio

He checked online March 30, the Ivy League schools’ date for announcing applicants’ acceptance or denial of entrance. To his surprise, he was accepted at each one — Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Columbia and the University of Pennsylvania.

“I was barely able to believe it,” Onserio said.

He is one of at least six students nationwide whom media have identified as being accepted to all eight colleges, a feat nicknamed the “Ivy League Sweep.”

Onserio credits the academic and human formation he has received at Providence Academy, a Catholic school in Plymouth.

“A lot of teachers in the school emphasize formation of the person,” said Onserio, who is Seventh-day Adventist.

Onserio excels academically and in the arts. He performs in theater and sings in the music program in addition to participating in math league, quiz bowl, tennis, speech, debate and Lincoln Society, a group that explores key texts in Western culture.

He said Providence Academy “gave me an opportunity to do a lot of clubs,” which he believes would have been more limited at a public school.

Onserio dedicated Saturday evenings to working on his essays for the Ivy League colleges’ applications. He also sought help from Providence Academy’s college counselors and his teachers along the way.

Onserio’s parents, who emigrated from Kenya two decades ago, will have three children attending Ivy League schools this fall. His older sisters and former Providence Academy students Rachael and Meghan attend Dartmouth and Harvard, respectively.

“It’s a remarkable success story of an American family,” said Todd Flanders, Providence Academy headmaster.

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