17-year-old Philadelphia high school student, Amir Staten, went viral on social media earlier this year after his mom shared a video of him celebrating after he got accepted into Morehouse College, Atlanta.
In an interview with CBS, the teen explained that he had applied to several schools and was very happy when he got into one of his top choices, Morehouse in Atlanta. His mother, Karlynne Staten, disclosed that she had to record his reaction so she could show it to the family. The video showed Amir tearing down the street, celebrating with delight.
She noted that she was glad he is going out of Philly because even though she loves the state, it’s not safe for her son.
On getting accepted, Amir said, “You don’t have to pick a gun to be cool. You don’t have to be involved in the streets to be cool. You can go to college and get a degree and still be the coolest,” 6abc reported.
In a new video posted by his mother, Karlynne, Amir is seen crying in disbelief because he had just found out his education at Morehouse was riding on a full scholarship. He is one of the 15Bonner Scholars, a community service-focused scholarship program, which would cover his four years in college.
In an interview with Good Morning America, his mother testified of her son’s hard work. Saying he went above and beyond what was expected of him during his high school years.
Amir excelled in maintaining honor roll grades, all the while juggling his duties as captain of the basketball team and the head of his high school’s ‘Germantown Friends School’ Black Student Union. He also completed over 120 hours of community service.
According to their website, the total cost of attending Morehouse is approximately $51,000 per year. This scholarship will certainly bring some form of financial relief to the family.
Aside from Amir, Karlynne takes care of his twin sister as well as one of his young friends whom she fosters. She has been working about three to four jobs to take care of the family and save for their future college funds.
Amir Staten will have to hold a GPA of at least 2.5 and complete 10 hours of community service per week as part of the requirements to continue to partake in the scholarship at Morehouse.
Vice president for student services and Dean of Morehouse College, Kevin Booker shared that Staten was selected by a panel of staff and current Bonner Scholars at the institution.
He added that “Some of those student leaders selected Amir because they see in him what’s needed to be a man of Morehouse, and eventually a Morehouse man.”
The dean also noted that Amir earned the position for himself not once mentioning his viral video. He expressed that he was personally touched by Amir’s reaction and hopes that he will use this opportunity to push himself among the ranks of the great men who have passed through the school as well.