In Breaux Bridge, LA, one high school student's collegiate dreams came true in front of a room full of cheering and crying people.
Brendon Gauthier is a current senior at TM Landry College Prep. After listing Cornell University as his dream school, an emotional video of him opening his acceptance letter into the Ivy League school has since gone viral. Watch his friends, family, and teachers immediately erupt at the news, including an educator who even picked him up.
TM Landry College Prep Senior Brendon Gauthier makes it into the Ivy League...Cornell University!!!! Cornell accepts less than 15% of applicants and is ranked #15 in the nation! HERE IS HIS REACTION VIDEO!!! Congratulations, Brendon!!!Posted by TM Landry College Prep. on Thursday, December 8, 2016
In an interview with The Cornell Daily Sun, Gauthier described the emotions he felt while opening the email, as well as what the video left out. "What's not in there is me crying," he said. "As soon as I got to my family, I immediately just broke down. Whenever I saw them, I saw my history — I saw my life throughout 17 years and all the trials and tribulations that I went through."
Of his "history," Gauthier explained that he was primarily raised by his mother, who worked long hours and encouraged him to focus on his academics over sports. "That's what's always fueled my drive," he told the Sun," to get my family in a better situation."
Gauthier said his school has made a tradition of students reading their letters in front of their peers and mentors. "The entire student body comes around, and good, bad, or ugly, we're there. That family aspect is a key foundation within the school. [If] I'd gotten denied, they would've been there," he said.
Luckily, Gauthier doesn't have to worry about that. He'll be studying to be a veterinarian at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences next Fall. He hopes that he can serve as a role model for other kids in low-income families: "I want that video to inspire him to say, 'education can take me to where I want to go.'"