Black Teen Accepted Into 122 Schools, Earns Over $5 Million In Scholarships

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An Oakland, California high school student has raked in over 100 college acceptances.

According to NBC Bay Area, Helms Ategeka, a Head-Royce School student, garnered $5.3 million in scholarships from 122 colleges.

"I feel really lucky that there are people out there, that there are institutions out there that see the value that I have to give," Helms said.

Helms said he believes his array of extracurriculars, including choir, theater, and a club he started himself, along with his 3.9 GPA contributed to his acceptances.

The high schooler credited his dedication to school to his family and lessons he learned from his childhood in Uganda. Helms, an aspiring recording artist, moved to the U.S. just five years ago.

"I just really had to remind myself that this is an opportunity, especially where I'm from that a lot of people don’t have," he said. "I wanted to be grateful for that and honor my parents."

Helms said he applied to roughly 160 schools but ultimately decided to attend UC Berkeley because of its music school and course diversity.

"That’s how I ultimately decided on Cal, because I was like music, fantastic! Location, fantastic! Now let's look at everything else," he said.

The school is also the alma mater of his father, Chris Ategeka. The father said it took him years of working with immigration to get his son into the U.S.

"All the things that I and my family had to go through to be here, sometimes there's moments where you have to pinch yourself," Chris said. "Is this happening or is this a dream?"

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