Micheal, who comes from Houston’s economically challenged Third Ward, was able to make it happen thanks to a 4.68 GPA and inspiration from his mother, Berthinia Rutledge-Brown, who finished her degree while he was in elementary school. He has more options than he ever imagined.

“After she (Berthinia Rutledge-Brown) got divorced, she decided she needed to get a better job,” Micheal said. She enrolled at Houston Community College and worked hard to become a licensed counselor when Micheal was eight or nine years old.

“That’s the first time I understood what going to college might look like,” he said. “And seeing how important it was to my mum was important to me. I don’t even think she really knew that I saw, that it had an impact on me — but it did.”

Micheal hasn’t made a final decision on which school he will choose yet. He said that he’s narrowed his list to seven schools: Northwestern, Georgetown, Stanford, and the four Ivy League schools — Princeton, Yale, Penn, Harvard.

Micheal was also accepted to Amherst, Vanderbilt, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Texas. He says he got serious about college toward the end of ninth grade.

He said it will likely come down to Harvard and Stanford and he will visit both schools soon, but no decision will be made before May 1.

His ultimate goal is to go to law school.

“He wants to come back to Houston and work in the community,” his mum, Rutledge-Brown said.

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