• June 16, 2024

High School Senior Who Received $10M in Scholarship Offers Gives All the Glory to God

dennis barnes
International High School New Orleans

Dennis “Maliq” Barnes, the 16-year-old high school senior who earned scholarship offers from over 150 schools, recently announced his college decision at a news conference. Barnes said at his New Orleans high school campus, “Today, I am pleased to announce my final college decision for the fall of 2023.”

He continued, “It is an honor and privilege to be accepted to the Ivy League Cornell University’s College of Engineering in Ithaca, New York.” Wearing a red and white Cornell sweatshirt, Barnes received applause and cheers from his parents, school officials and press conference attendees. He said, “I express great gratitude for the support system both in high school, at home and professors at the collegiate level. I have committed to Cornell University and intend to pursue computer science to later move on to practice software development.”

Barnes reportedly set a record for total dollars in scholarship awards, reaching over $10.1 million from more than 150 out of 188 American universities and colleges that he’s been accepted to. Barnes told Fox News Digital, “This whole experience that I’m having right now has given me a sense of gratitude for everything that I do.”

He continued, “I give all the glory to God because He played a huge role in everything that I’m doing today and all of my success. I thank Him for allowing me to get through, even when I didn’t want to. Days may be hard. I may be tired. I may be having a bad week, but He always lifted me up to be able to move forward.” Barnes had scholarships and college acceptances from around the country, from the University of Arkansas and the University of Iowa to Kansas State and Louisiana Tech.

Barnes said he started his college application process in August last year, adding, “Breaking a record wasn’t necessarily a goal or something I set out to do. I am just a college-bound student, seeking somewhere where I’m comfortable, that has a great program in my major, and that’s going to compensate me financially.”

International High School of New Orleans, where Barnes attends, wrote in a statement, “The last recorded record for monetary scholarship awards was a high school senior in Lafayette, Louisiana, who received $9.4 million in 2019.” Barnes’ college counselor, Denise James, described Barnes as “a goal setter” to Fox News Digital.

James continued, “He’s an individual who is very conscientious about timelines as it relates to his career pathway. He’s very organized.” Maintaining a 4.0 GPA, Barnes could test out of two grades, promoting him to the classification of senior at 16.

He is president of the National Honor Society, fluent in Spanish, receiving an official qualification known as “Diplomas en Español” granted by the Institute Cervantes on behalf of Spain’s Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports. Barnes also ran track and played basketball throughout high school.

He has been dually enrolled at the Southern University of New Orleans for the past two years pursuing college credits while completing his high school diploma at IHSNO. Barnes plans to pursue a dual undergraduate computer science and criminal justice degree.

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