ST. LOUIS – It's an exciting time for seniors graduating from St. Louis Public Schools. Their plans range from two-year community colleges and four-year universities to the military and other choices.
For Mouhamed Ndiaye, it's Princeton University.
Ndiaye has a 4.4 GPA. It has literally been a journey getting to this point.
"At the age of eight, I made the move to St. Louis all the way from Senegal," he said. "I remember just the hostess asking a simple question like, 'Chicken or beef?' And I was like, 'Yes.' Things like that. Looking back, it's funny. Back then, it was a struggle but I love learning."
He means it. Technically, he's in high school. However, all of his classes are at community college. Now, he has another rigorous academic opportunity.
"I opened the application portal, clicked on the decision and it was this big tiger with a sign saying congratulations and I was just like, ‘Wow,'" Ndiaye said.
He has a full ride scholarship to Princeton.
"Princeton is somewhere under $70,000 a year," Ndiaye said. "I had to pay $35."
Georgetown University also offered Ndiaye a full ride. However, he chose to attend Princeton.
He's proud, his family is proud and so is his school district.
Friday, St. Louis Public Schools celebrated all graduating seniors at a Decision Day event. Alumni and representatives from local universities met at Gateway STEM High School to encourage the students and offer them advice, which Ndiaye says he'll take to Princeton.
"I think it's awesome," he said. "It's indicative of the fact that they care about what students do not only while they're here but what happens afterwards."
Decision Day is held annually. It's designed to coincide with the date most students must inform a college of their plans to enroll.