A high school senior in Indianapolis who earned acceptance into over 60 colleges chooses to attend Howard University.
Garnering over $1 million in scholarship offers, Indy Star reports Taran Richardson, the salutatorian of Charles A. Tindley Accelerated High School class of 2020, received offers from 65 schools and made the decision to attend Howard after an intense narrowing process.
The 18-year-old’s decision to attend the historically Black university in Washington D.C. came after the teenager spent over a month comparing his top ten choices, the financial aid offered, and campus visits.
“I could see myself in that place,” Richardson said to IndyStar. “I pictured myself going there since Day 1.”
His high school career highlights why over 60 colleges offered Richardson a space on their campus. Beyond graduating with a 3.7-grade point average, he was a student-athlete, participated in student government, and committed to community service all while holding down a part-time job at the local Walmart.
According to IndyStar, Richardson’s community work included advocating against violence with the Stop The Violence Indianapolis Campaign, building a social media broadcast studio as an Eagle Scout, and organized a career fair to help his peers find summer jobs in an effort to combat gun violence.
“People always tend to lean toward the people who are getting it done, who are a big influence to them,” Nathan Williams, a Boy Scouts leader who works closely with Richardson’s troop, 959 told the outlet. “Taran was always that type of guy.”
Maurita Willingham, Richardson’s mother, says her son adapted a mantra and optimized it as a hashtag in true Generation Z style. IndyStar reports the teenager lived the motto #NoSleepInMySchedule which his mom claims he lived up to.
His mother also shares his decision to attend Howard was made with a long-term goal in mind. She tells the news outlet the university’s proximity to National Aeronautics and Space Administration or NASA factored in the decision. Richardson hopes to intern at the space program during his undergraduate career.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 has prevented the Bison student body from attending in-person classes or residing on campus for the fall 2020 semester, Richardson included. Still, an unconventional start did not stop him from continuing his personal journey.
“Obviously I wouldn’t be in the situation or the place I am right now without all those people that helped me get to where I am,” Richardson remarked to Indystar. “And I want to do the same for others.”
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