Smart, humble and heading to an Ivy League school

By Molly Reuter - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The list goes on and on....

"UT Tyler, UT Austin, Rose Hullman Institute of Technology...Boston College, Cornell, Columbia, Brown, Yale, and I'm forgetting some," said Bijan Stephen. "I can't remember."

Like most teenagers 17-year-old Stephen, a senior at T.K. Gorman in Tyler had no idea where he wanted to go to college. So, he decided to apply to 14 schools.

"I think I ended up writing around 30 essays in total," said Stephen. "I just kept my head down and kept working, and when I brought it back up I had choices."

It all started last year when Stephen took the PSAT. He scored so well he was named both a "National Merit Commended Scholar" and a "National Achievement Scholar". On his SAT he got a 2110 out of 2400. Bijan said he didn't know he had done so well.

"Not at all," he said.

"You have to know you're smart," I said to the student.

"I mean, people tell me that, but I'm just like OK, whatever," he replied.

But there is more to Stephen than just high test scores. He loves soccer and made it to regionals in track this year. He also plays three different instruments.

"I play the alto saxophone, the oboe and bass guitar," he said. "Oboe? It's one of my favorites. I actually received all state recognition this year for the oboe."

In the end, Stephen said it came down to four schools: Brown, Cornell, Columbia and Yale. After a campus visit two weeks ago Stephen made his choice. He's going to be a Yale Bulldog.

"I am definitely excited," he said. "I've lived here for a long time, and I feel like it's time for a change."

It is a change that has him yet again studying up a bit.

Stephen said his best subject is English, but plans on being a pre-med student at Yale. As I mentioned earlier he applied to 14 schools and got accepted to 13. The one that turned him down was Yale's biggest rival, Harvard.

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