16-Year-Old Teen Whose Harvard Acceptance Video Went Viral Appears On Ellen
Ayrton Little always had big dreams.
“Ever since I was little, it was Harvard,” said the 16-year old. “I didn’t know how I was going to go, but I knew I was going to go.”
On December 6th, that dream came true for the Opelousas, Louisiana native. Surrounded by classmates and teachers, Ayrton checked his Harvard University application, and the room burst into cheers and excitement.
The life changing moment was captured on video and posted online and has now been viewed more than five million times. Ayrton is one of just 16 students in his graduating class at T.M. Landry College Prep in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. His classmates include his older brother, Alex, who ended up getting accepted to Stanford just a few days later. Alex’s reaction was also posted online.
T.M. Landry College Prep has had a flurry of recent grads who were accepted into prestigious schools including Cornell, NYU, and Wesleyan. T.M. Landry prides itself on having a 100% college enrollment rate with students earning millions in scholarships each year.
“I go to the best school,” Ayrton said. “95% of the students here are driven and they care about school, and the other 5% are new.”
Principal and founder of the school, Tracey Landry, takes great pride in all her students. But she said that Ayrton in particular was a highly motivated individual who, even through had some struggles, placed great value on his education.
“He’s always the first one to try and find out the answers or go beyond the lesson,” she said of Ayrton. She also said that both he and his brother Alex “are truly humble young men.”
The boys credit their mother for their success. As a single mom who provided the support and encouragement her boys needed, she took on any job she could get to make ends meet. Even during times of uncertainty, which included leaky pipes, unpaid bills, and selling baked goods as her only form of income, their mother knew her boys could overcome anything.
“She tells us all the time: No matter how tough things were, whatever bills weren’t getting paid, whatever lights might be cut off, I knew that they were always working and I knew that I’d come home to good grades and good report cards and kids who were striving in school,” Alex said.
The boys are now looking forward to their new journeys next fall. Ayrton aims to study applied mathematics and computer science. He hopes to eventually pursue a job on Wall Street that allows him to make enough money launch a nonprofit and give back to his hometown.