Late last year, two young African American brothers made headlines for their incredible twin achievements.
The Little brothers of TM Landry College Preparatory school in rural Louisiana were both accepted into the prestigious colleges of their choice, going viral with online videos of themselves receiving acceptance letters.
First, 18-year-old Alex Little was accepted into Stanford University, posting a video of himself surrounded by his high school classmates watching as he opened the online acceptance letter.
Stanford is ranked third in the world on the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018.
Even prior to getting his own good news, Alex’s younger brother Ayrton Little was cheering him on for acceptance into Stanford.
But then a few days later, he got huge news of his own. At just 16 years of age, Ayrton had been accepted into Harvard University – a school consistently ranked on numerous indexes as the best university in the world.
The video he posted went viral and has since been viewed on his Twitter page more than 8 million times. “The goal was to show all of my friends that I got into Harvard, but it turned into showing the whole world that I got into Harvard,” Ayrton told the Boston Globe.
“Hopefully we’ll see you around,” tweeted the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard. NBA star Jeremy Lin personally congratulated Ayrton, tweeting: “awesome story of someone chasing their dreams, pursuing education and turning a blindeye to the haters!”
The story caught the attention of Hollywood TV host Ellen DeGeneres, who interviewed the brothers on her show.
“It’s amazing to see how much support I am getting from people that I don’t even know. It’s so much support, I had to turn off all of my notifications because my phone kept crashing,” said Ayrton.
Earlier this month, Michelle Obama retweeted Ayrton’s acceptance video, saying: “I am so proud of students all across the country who are getting accepted by their dream schools. These kids won’t let anything stand in their way!”
TM Landry’s students are amazingly high achievers, including 16-year-old James Dennis who was accepted into Yale University. The majority African American school boasts a 100 percent graduation rate and a 100 percent 4-year college acceptance rate.
“I push our students to attend elite schools not to think that they’re better than anyone else, but to change their mind and perception of who they can become,” says the school’s principal Mike Landry.
Earlier this month, Alex tweeted congratulations for another of his classmates who had been accepted into The George Washington University.
Ayrton told WBUR Radio that he wants to help “kids that grow up like me,” who have “a love of learning, but they may not have the resources to be able to go to Harvard or Stanford.”