Kwasi Enin, the Long Island scholar-athlete who had the enviable dilemma of selecting any of the eight Ivy League schools to attend, said he's ready for the challenge that his top choice has to offer.
"I'm not intimidated by the school very much," he said in revealing he will go to Yale University, the New Haven, Conn., school consistently ranked among the world's best. "There's always that shock factor for most college kids -- the world's bigger than I thought it was. There are a lot more smart kids than I thought there were, compared to me. But I'm ready for that."
Enin, 17, of Shirley, announced his choice Wednesday at a news conference at his Mastic Beach high school.
"He's a credit to himself, his family, our high school, our school district and our community," said William Floyd School District Superintendent Paul Casciano.
Principal Barbara Butler said Enin "exemplifies the greatness in William Floyd."
"I have been able to watch Kwasi grow from an energetic, enthusiastic sixth grader to a poised, humble, gifted young man," Butler said.
Enin made international headlines in March after he learned he had been accepted to Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania and Yale -- all members of the Ivy League. He also was accepted to Binghamton University, Duke University, Stony Brook University and SUNY Geneseo.
"I narrowed down my choice of schools quickly," he said, after revisiting the University of Pennsylvania, Yale and Princeton earlier this month. "I find Yale's student body very friendly and energetic."
Academics aside, money was a factor in Enin's choice: Yale, he said, offered the most generous financial aid package, though not a full ride.
The school's instructional ethos already has had concrete effect, he said.
Enin, who said his heart is set on becoming a doctor and possibly practicing in Ghana, where his parents were born, said he decided to major in biomedical engineering after hearing a lecture on the subject while touring Yale's campus last week.
"I only hope he will be an inspiration to all kids, that with hard work and dedication they can all make it to his level," his mother, Doreen Enin, said Wednesday.
The celebrity status he gained since announcing his acceptance by all eight Ivies was apparent there, with other accepted students recognizing him and several lining up to pose for "selfies."
And he said he almost met someone who matched his accomplishment. Several of the prospective students on the tours also had applied to all the Ivy League schools and said they were accepted to most of them.
"I met a couple of sevens," he said, referring to students who had been accepted to up to seven Ivies, but he did not meet anyone who had been accepted to all eight schools.
Enin said he plans to spend his summer working to help pay for school and enjoying time left with friends and family on Long Island before trekking to the campus where he'll live for the next four years.
Coming milestones include celebrating his 18th birthday in May, the school prom, and graduation after the end of rigorous classes.
"They're intense but, you know, it's the end," he said of his courses and tenure as a Colonial at William Floyd High School, confessing that he has a "fair amount" of "senior-itis" and is looking forward to becoming a Yale Bulldog.
"I'm going to do these last tests," he said, adding "and, once they're over, just the rest of my year is basically waiting until prom, then graduation."