16-year-old Ayrton Little has become a viral sensation after a video of his acceptance into Harvard began blowing up Twitter. The video above depicts Ayrton surrounded by fellow classmates who erupt with joy when he opens the email and realizes he’s been accepted.
Since that tender, heartwarming moment, millions have viewed the video and replied with thoughtful, encouraging messages to the soon-to-be Harvard student. The original video is captioned “All the hard work was worth it,” and friends and family couldn’t agree more.
Who is Ayrton Little?
Little is a high schooler at T.M. Landry College Preparatory in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. Ayrton and his older brother, Alex, were raised by a single mother. During their childhood, they faced several financial hurdles as a family with many uncertain times. But through it all, the boys’ mother managed to give her kids constant encouragement and support to continue their education.
She says she feels lucky knowing that no matter how challenging it was to work odd jobs to make ends meet, her boys were coming home with good grades and working hard to maintain them.
Ayrton knows that the alternative to working hard and staying in school would have been bad news. At any point in time, he could have given up and turned to drugs and gangs. “But that wouldn’t have gotten me to where I am now,” Little admitted. He knew that if he kept at it, his dream of going to Harvard could become a reality. And with that education would come a more secure future.
Both Alex and Ayrton valued school and education. That has paid off immensely since both have now been accepted into prestigious schools. Ayrton’s acceptance into Harvard’s Early Action program came just a week after Alex found out he’d been accepted to Stanford University in California.
A Quality Educational Foundation
Both of these boys had big dreams. Their school, T.M. Landry College Preparatory is an independent, co-educational school with a mission “dedicated to promoting each child’s self worth and dignity in a supportive, educational and safe environment while preparing them to prosper in a culturally diverse, technological society,”. With college preparation at the center of what they do, the enhanced curriculum builds on an existing foundation and caters to individual learning styles.
In a phone interview with NBC News, Ayrton mentioned the school. “I go to the best school,” Ayrton said. “95 percent of the students here are driven and they care about school, the other five percent are new.”
The school that started in 2005 now boasts a 100% college enrollment rate, with most students being offered scholarships. Students are challenged to achieve more and grow their intellectual abilities by doing things like taking the ACT early, being enrolled in dual-credit courses even before the 9th grade, and taking higher levels of traditional classes.
This school community takes its commitment to education very seriously and has cultivated an environment where meeting those goals is met with tremendous shows of support. Other students’ acceptance videos have began circulating as well.
Little’s Big Future
Ayrton Little has expressed excitement over joining the class of 2022 and experiencing life outside of the South, where he grew up. Ayrton told NBC News, “I’m looking forward to meeting a lot of people and being exposed to a lot of different cultures because I’ve been in the South as far back as I can remember.” He continued saying, “I’ve only been around people from the South and I know that there’s a whole world out there that I don’t know about yet and I think that that’s the best thing.”
He knew at a very young age that Harvard was his goal. He did not know that obstacles and challenges that would meet him every step of the way. But that childhood dream will soon become a reality.
Harvard’s early admission program sent out 964 acceptances this week, according to the Harvard Gazette. Some of Little’s future classmates also expressed their excitement over being accepted.
Support Near and Far
Since posting on social media, Ayrton Little has received overwhelming support from people and celebrities across the world; the video has over 5.8 million views on Twitter alone, and ignited an outpouring of congrats.
But the sweetness truly comes from the crowd that sat there in anticipation and celebrated once the news was official. That moment captures the cheers, screams, hugs, and pure joy that filled the room. Clearly, these were not just the goals of one individual. Ayrton’s success represented a huge feat for the community.
Even more, similar videos have been created for other students that have received acceptances to Ivy League schools and other highly ranked universities. The culture of the school celebrates its students’ successes and hard work, and creates a community of driven individuals that challenge each other to reach their goals.
Both of the Little brothers are great role models for future students who are striving to reach their goals amid the strains and pressures of challenges at home and beyond.