“I'm really honored,” the Portsmouth High School junior said. “I don't really have the words to describe it.”
Parker was recognized Wednesday at the Portsmouth City Schools administrative offices for his achievement, along with senior Dennis Kozee, who was accepted to three Ivy League schools - Cornell University, Columbia University and Brown University.
“It was a lot of work but it was worth it,” he said of the application process. He applied to 11 colleges and was accepted to six.
Kozee said he plans to attend Brown University and major in psychology.
“It seemed very nontraditional and innovative,” he said of the school, which he visited last fall.
Kozee credits his application essay for being one of the things that set him apart from other applicants. He wrote about his family and about being from Portsmouth.
“I think there are many younger students who could go to Ivy league schools. They just need to know how to apply and need someone to help them,” he said. Only about 1,400 of 18,000 applicants were accepted to Brown, Kozee said.
Parker was one of 70 students in the state accepted to the Martin Essex School for the Gifted, which is a weeklong program at The Ohio State University. Students participate in seminars, workshops and independent studies, according to the school's Web site, www.ssco.org. Finalists must demonstrate high levels of potential leadership, intellectual curiosity, academic and artistic ability and a commitment to social responsibility, the Web site says.
To apply, Parker wrote 150-word and 500-word essays, and was required to submit two recommendations from his current teachers.
“I've always tried to be the best that I can in everything I do,” he said.
Superintendent Jan Broughton was on hand to recognize the two students.
“It's such a prestigious honor to have these types of students who step up and become leaders,” she said.
EMILY SALMON can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 232.