How A New Orleans High School Senior Cleaned Up With More Than $9 Million In Scholarship Offers

A New Orleans high school student may have entered the record books as he takes his next steps toward a bright future.

With a stellar academic record, mastery of a foreign language and leadership positions, Dennis Barnes, 16, received at least $9 million in scholarships, according to USA Today.

The International High School of New Orleans student applied to 200 colleges and was accepted to 170 of them the newspaper reports. He plans to announce his decision on May 2.

“I am still getting letters. Decision letters were an overflow in my mailbox. I’m proud of myself. I’m a Black man and you don’t find that too often in the Black community… it stands out,” Barnes, 16, told USA Today.

Reports have circulated that he even broke a record documented in the Guinness Book of World Records, but a spokesperson for the organization told that they keep no such record. A spokesperson for the school said that they are attempting to get Guinness to recognize his accomplishment, but the process for that is lengthy and no record has been published yet.

Nonetheless, the accomplishment is still impressive and his parents, Reba and Dennis Barnes Sr., say they are beaming with pride.

“We’ve known from an early age that Dennis was destined for great things,” his father told USA Today. “The fact he received $9 million in scholarships is a true blessing and we can’t wait for him to begin his college journey.”

How did he achieve this record-setting accomplishment? It was no easy task. The New Orleans native maintained an impressive 4.98 grade point while taking up leadership positions in the National Honor Society. Barnes is also fluent in Spanish, earning an official qualification from the Institute Cervantes on behalf of Spain’s Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sports.

If that wasn’t enough, Barnes is also enrolled at an historically Black university, Southern University at New Orleans, where he’s earning college credits.

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Barnes plans to take on a dual undergraduate degree in computer science and criminal justice when he enters college in the fall and hopes to attend law school after that.

“I guess there’s a starting point for everything,” Barnes told New Orleans station WWL. “I started and didn’t realize where I was going, but as I realized the path I was heading down…I rolled my momentum and I ended up farther than I ever thought I would have been.”

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