'Teen Jeopardy!' Former Contestant Gets $2M In Scholarships, Accepted To 15 Colleges And Wants To Use Education To Help Black Americans

·2 min read

A Black teen that has been accepted into 15 of the most prestigious universities and has received $2 million in scholarships plans to use his education to work on better health outcomes for Black Americans.

Rotimi Kukoyi, who competed on Jeopardy! Teen Tournament in 2018, was accepted into Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Vanderbilt, Emory, Rice, Johns Hopkins and Duke universities, among many others. However, he plans to attend the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, where he will study health policy and management.

With his degree, Kukoyi plans on tackling Black health disparities in America.

“At UNC, I hope to lay the foundations of a career driving health equity in our nation,” Kukoyi said according to Atlanta Black Star.

The teen took an interest in public health after helping the Alabama Department of Health with its campaign against vaccine hesitancy in the wake of COVID-19. At the time, the state had the lowest vaccination rate, and he wanted to learn how else he could make an impact.

“That was the first time that I really saw how clear the health inequities were,” Kukoyi said. “African Americans had a much higher chance of dying from COVID than white Americans.”

He continued, “It was almost like there were two separate pandemics impacting our nation, and we saw [some people] marginalized and impacted way more.”

 

 

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A post shared by Rotimi Kukoyi (@rotimikukoyi)

 

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A post shared by Rotimi Kukoyi (@rotimikukoyi)

The teen hopes his story will inspire others to further their education.

In addition to bettering the health outcomes of Black Americans, Rotimi Kukoyi hopes to inspire other students to apply to universities so they too can make a difference in this world.

“A lot of kids that I talked to didn’t think they could apply to the bigger schools or get into the bigger schools” or were concerned about the costs, he said. “But there are other resources available to students to kind of help with that.”