A Florida student who has been accepted into all 27 colleges he applied for isn’t waiting for his post-secondary education to become an inventor. He already has patents pending.
Jonathan Walker, 18, of Panama City said he’s narrowed his college choices down to the 27 schools he applied to. He wasn’t expecting to get accepted by all of them but that’s exactly what happened.
“It’s so crazy to think about that I applied to all these colleges, and I got in,” Walker told CBS Miami. “That’s such a rare thing to occur, but the fact that it did happen, I’m so excited about it.”
Walker, who is a senior at Rutherford High School, also received $4 million in scholarship offers. Among his choices are Harvard, Yale and Stanford universities, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins.
It’s something Walker says is still surreal. “I’ve really been trying to like soak it in,” he said. He admitted he was fearful about where his collegiate journey would take him when he started applying to schools.
“I would definitely say that there was like a lot of self-doubt, just in terms of where I would end up getting in,” Walker told the Panama City News Herald. “And so, that was really fueled by fear that I wanted to go to a good college and so, I tried to maximize my chances by applying to as many as possible.”
“Being honest I thought that all of them were reach schools. They’re all so difficult to get into. If I could get admission into one of them, I would have been super thankful,” he said in a separate interview with ABC News.
In addition to maintaining a 4.85 GPA, Jonathan Walker is an honors student in the International Baccalaureate Program and he has already earned college credits.
He is also a member of his school’s varsity football team and science club, was crowned homecoming king, and is working with a partner at Yale on what he describes as “a wrist-held braille device” which could help blind and deaf people “facilitate their communication through the outside world” instantaneously without the need for an interpreter.
When ABC News anchor Linsey Davis asked him how he does it all, Walker gave credit to God for giving him gifts, his desire to help people, and for having a great community of support.
“I’ve been blessed with God with a lot of ability and I just want to take the time and use it to the fullest extent and just affect others, positively affect them, and try to inspire other people and so I’m just thankful for the positions I’ve been put in,” Walker said.
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In a separate interview with the Herald, he said “I’m thankful to God for him putting me in such an amazing position, but also just realizing that like, all these results, it’s not just because of me. I feel like I’m a product of the community that has been put around me and who’s fostered my growth.”
Walker said if he sticks within “predefined lines,” he will major in engineering and entrepreneurship, then pursue a nonprofit career path that would allow him to invent things that help people. However, he is also exploring creating his own major because he doesn’t want to leave any of his interests on the table.
“I have a ton of different interests and I don’t want to leave any of them out while I’m in college,” Jonathan Walker said.
His ultimate goal in life, he said, is to use his gifts and talents to help others.
“I just want people to have like a greater quality of life because I feel like if they’re able to focus more on just forming meaningful and joyful connections, instead of their own health, they can really explore what it means to contribute to life and just make everybody else’s life better,” Walker said. “And so, if I can facilitate that, it’s honestly a dream come true.”
PHOTO: Road signs for Harvard and Yale. Credit: vapal / iSstock, https://www.istockphoto.com/portfolio/vapal?mediatype=photography