Dennis Maliq Barnes, a 16-year-old boy in the US, has made headlines for making history by receiving admission offers from 170 colleges and universities and securing $9 million in scholarship awards. In total, he had applied to 200 colleges. Barnes, a student at the International High School of New Orleans, skipped a couple of grades. The 16-year-old, who considers himself an ordinary person, likes to ride dirt bikes and socialize with friends.
Speaking to Huffpost.com, Barnes said, “I received a lot of letters. I didn’t even realise my own potential; it was my college counsellor, Denise James.”
“Look, I am about to show them to you,” he exclaimed with happiness as he held up a comically large stack of envelopes during his conversation with Huffpost.com over Zoom.
“The only days when the mailbox doesn’t have anything in it are if it’s a holiday or a Sunday,” he said.
He said he was aware that there were scholars before him who achieved exceptional goals.
I was aware that this was something that this school did, but I didn’t believe it would happen to me, he said. However, it did. And now, he has the Guinness World Record.
He maintained a 4.98 GPA throughout high school while dealing with dual enrollment at Southern University in New Orleans and participating in other academic extracurriculars, which speaks to his accomplishments.
For Barnes, who says he didn’t even realize his own potential, it was his college counsellor, Denise James.
“Ms. James guided me. She told me that my mailbox was going to be flooded with letters,” Barnes recalls.
James has mentored a number of students who have received excellent college admissions and scholarship prizes, some of which have exceeded $1 million. She observes that Barnes jumps out as being truly outstanding, though.
“The road to a successful future is to plan ahead, network with your collegiate partners, and know that if you can see your vision, you can achieve your goal,” he said.
According to The Guardian, Barnes’s scholarship offer success rivals that of another Louisianan, Normandie Cormier. In 2019, as she prepared to graduate from Early College Academy in Lafayette, Cormier received almost $9 million in scholarship offers from nearly 140 schools.