John Okhiulu

Hometown: Dallas, TX

high school: Science/Engineering Magnet HS

college: Stanford University

MAJOR: Computer Science

John Okhiulu was born and raised in Oak Cliff (a large, low-income area in Dallas, Texas) to a Nigerian immigrant father and an American mother. John credits his environment and his Creator for the passion for education and service he was gifted with. John’s father, David, would tell many stories about the hardships faced in his village in order to motivate his children to succeed despite any circumstances placed against them. On top of his father’s motivation, John’s mother, Valerie, works very hard in order to help provide for John and his siblings.

John did not disappoint with his academic achievements. Throughout his primary education, John was placed in advanced Talented and Gifted (TAG) and magnet programs. These programs gave him the opportunity to excel and provided challenges to his education. John attended to the School of Science and Engineering, a magnet high school dedicated to challenging students with rigorous courses in order to prepare them for careers in the STEM fields. His parents are very proud of his success at one of the nation’s top high schools, where he will graduate in the top of his class with a 4.0 GPA. John’s passion for learning can be seen in the special honors he’s been awarded throughout his academic career. He’s a member of the National Honor Society, a former Questbridge Prep Scholar, an AP Scholar with Distinction, and a National AP Scholar, to name a few. John has received offers to pursue an undergraduate degree in computer science from Stanford University and Columbia University.

Outside of academics, John excels in his extracurricular endeavors. He has played varsity baseball since his sophomore year, and he’s been a captain on his school’s robotics team since then as well. On his robotics team, he was able to attend the world championships in St. Louis, Missouri twice, where he met students from across the globe who shared his passion for science and technology. John is also a spokesperson for his school’s chapters of the National Society for Black Engineers and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, and he is a member of the ACE Mentor Program.

John is also very involved in his community. He serves as an active member in the Dallas Grow South Organization, where he dedicates time to making improvements in his southern Dallas community. John has helped out at his local food bank, participated in various charity events, and devoted hours to service in both his school and church. This year, along with a couple of friends, John started a charitable organization called Pioneering Hope. His goals for the organization are to establish new ways for youth and teens to organize and volunteer for various service-oriented projects and activities. In the future, John and his friends hope to bring the organization outside the US, where they can provide assistance to communities where their parents are from, such as Nigeria, Mexico, and Panama.

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