A young man in #Jacksonville, #Florida, recently got the surprise of his life af…

A young man in #Jacksonville, #Florida, recently got the surprise of his life after being named his high school’s valedictorian.

When Craig McFarland received an acceptance letter from #YaleUniversity not long ago, several things were not going as he planned. “The day I found out was a horrible day. I was having car troubles. I had a horrible day at track practice and got into a fight,” he recalled.

However, during the next few weeks, life for the Stanton College Preparatory School student with a 4.98 GPA took a dramatic turn for the better.

In addition to Yale, McFarland learned that Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, the University of Pennsylvania, Brown, Dartmouth, and Cornell had also accepted him. “With each school, I was more and more in shock,” he said.

McFarland also applied and was accepted to Duke University, Emory University, Georgia Tech, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Stanford University, according to the Duval County Public Schools website. “He also received full scholarships to Florida universities including Florida State University, the University of Central Florida, the University of Florida, the University of North Florida, and the University of South Florida,” the site read.

His mom, Donabel Santiago, said her son showed strong initiative as a child. “I’m very proud of him. Of course, Yale is enough, but for him to get accepted to all of it. It’s like wow. I’m just so thankful. I’m just so happy,” she said, adding that education was always a priority in their family. “I have three kids and I told them I don’t accept a ‘B’ as a grade because I know that they can bring me A’s,” Santiago continued.

While McFarland is proud of his accomplishments, he does not want them to define his life. “You should define yourself by the friends you’ve made in high school, the number of laughs you’ve had at sleepovers, or the amount of sushi you can down in one sitting,” he said. “Yes, your GPA and academic metrics are important, but should you solely define yourself by those? Never,” McFarland concluded.

The valedictorian said he wanted to pursue a career in medicine or law and use his education. #binspirednews



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