CLEVELAND- Delivering the perfect commencement address takes practice.
FOX 8 cameras were there as valedictorian Kareem King, 18, rehearsed his speech to be delivered in front of his classmates, family and friends at Brush High School’s graduation Wednesday night at Playhouse Square.
But this isn’t Kareem’s only accomplishment.
“My whole body just like froze I was like ‘I got in! I got into Harvard.'”
King accepted a full academic scholarship to Boston’s Harvard University.
But he was actually accepted into 20 schools, offering a total of $2.3 million in scholarships.
With a 4.6 grade point average, King also played varsity football, and was in the National Honor Society.
King also played violin for the school’s orchestra.
Raised by his mom and grandmother and with four younger siblings at home, he said, in his household, failure was never an option.
His mom and role model recently becoming a nurse practitioner.
“So she’s been going to school as well as working a job and taking care of my newborn brother for so long and just seeing her and all the work that she’s been doing over the years, she’s basically been in school the whole time I’ve been in school.”
Brush principal Karl Williamson said, “He’s so humble; he’s so revered by his peers. The staff adores him, anywhere he goes, he’s well liked; he’s perceived in the highest of honor.”
Williams added students like Kareem only come around once in a lifetime…a young black man, breaking the mold.
Kareem added, “Understanding that even though this is a stereotype about black males, not being able to necessarily succeed, it just makes me work even harder because I know I have to overcome that stereotype.”
Kareem is planning to pursue a career in medicine and at Harvard, will be working on a combined MD/PhD program, specializing in biomedical research.