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Newark Student Gets Accepted to Seven Ivy League Schools

  • Janic Aguirre, a 2021 graduate of Bard Early College High School in Newark, N.J., figured he would apply to college only once in his life, so he applied to all eight Ivy League schools. And his bet paid off because he received acceptances from seven of them and was wait-listed for the eighth one.   

    “I kind of took the YOLO (You Only Live Once) approach, I thought this will be the only time I apply to college so why not?” said Aguirre.

    He received acceptance letters from Harvard University, Princeton University, Yale University, Columbia University, Dartmouth College, Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania and was wait-listed into Brown University. 

    In the fall, Aguirre will attend Yale University, majoring in anthropology. A first-generation college student, Aguirre has been named a 2021 Gates Scholar and a QuestBridge Scholar, which will help ease the stress of trying to figure out how to pay his tuition. 

    When asked what words he would use to describe himself, Aguirre replied, “Some of my classmates call me quirky, and helpful, and curious.” That curiosity has led him from wanting a career in astrophysics, computer science, and law to Mayan epigraphy, which he intends to pursue after studying anthropology Yale.   

    The word “curious” came about twice when the same question was asked of his professor, Joanne Baron. “Janic is one of those people who just really seems to excel at everything he does,” said Baron. “My colleagues and I actually had a bit of a competition to see who could get Janic interested in their specialty – and I feel like I won that competition.”

    It is thanks to Baron and her course on Ancient Mayan writing, that Janic has landed at his current interest of Mayan epigraphy. Bard Early College High School is a partnership between Bard College and Newark Public Schools and through Bard’s Early College program, students are encouraged to explore their curiosities and take electives and classes of their interests with hopes to steer them in the direction of their future career goals, if not at least assist in deciding their major in college.

    Coming from a family of Japanese and Nicaraguan descent, Aguirre who speaks fluent Japanese, is currently constructing his own language – with up to 300 words done so far. Carla Stephens, principal of Bard, notes, “Janic is always in pursuit of ways to feed his passion for knowledge, I am proud and excited for him to arrive at his next “place to think” and to continue nourishing his greatness. I can hardly wait to see the mark that he leaves on this world.”