An exceptional 16-year-old boy named Dennis Maliq Barnes from New Orleans has set a new world record after winning a huge $9 million scholarship from 170 Universities and Colleges in the United States.
Dennis Maliq Barnes, a high school senior at International High School of New Orleans, became the first university-bound graduate in US history to secure more than $9 million in scholarships from 170 Colleges and Universities.
While speaking on his achievement, Dennis Maliq explained that he never set out to break the record. But as soon as it became a reality, he began to understand the gravity of the accomplishment.
“To be able to set the standard and say, as a Black man, I could do more than dribble a ball, I could do more than throw a football or run the fastest — to say that we are mentally and academically capable of surpassing expectations, it’s something that I feel good to be leading in right now,” Maliq told Yahoo.
Maliq explained to CNN that the more he applied for financial aid, the more he keeps getting accepted. “As I applied to more schools, as my numbers went up, with the financial aid and acceptances into universities, I became intrigued,” he said.
He added that after receiving several acceptance, he was told he could set a record and immediately decided to go for it.
Maliq started applying for schools in August 2022 and he has since applied for over 200 schools in the United States some of which he is still waiting to hear back from.
At Maliq explained that he applied to a handful of schools with bigger names that interested him, including Ivy League schools and historically Black colleges and universities, or HBCUs.
His $9 million scholarship feat makes him break the record of $8.7m scholarship set by Normandie Cormier in 2019 according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Normandie Cormier who later graduated at the age of 21 got admitted into 139 universities in the United States.
Maliq on the other hand now holds the newest Guinness World record and his school says it is now working to get in contact with the record-tallying company to make his new record official.
The school head, Adierah Berger, says she is not surprised at Maliq’s successes as he is the ideal student. “His drive, ambition, playing and talent have been evident since he joined the school as a sophomore. It’s no surprise he set this world record, and we could not be more proud of him as he heads to college and on to change the world,” Berger said.
Maliq served in many capacities at the International High School of New Orleans including being a part of the school’s basketball team and also played football.
He hopes to influence and encourage other people in the Black community. “I would like to use this influence to encourage others, other people in the Black community, and just upcoming juniors that are gonna be seniors next year, to just keep pushing forward,” he stated.