ST. STEPHEN, SC (WCSC) - For the first time in Timberland High School history, one of its graduating seniors will head to an Ivy League university.
Gabriel "Gabe" Wadford, of St. Stephen, will attend Harvard University in the Fall of 2017, he said.
Wadford was accepted into a handful of elite colleges around the country, including five Ivies: Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Brown and Cornell. He selected Harvard, he said, because it was the best decision for him based on financial aid.
His mother, Samantha, said he has always loved learning.
"I'm so proud of Gabe," she said. "I always read to him all the time. Even when iI was pregnant we listened to NPR."
He credits his success to hard work, constant support from family and mentors, and a thought-out personal essay on growing up in a bi-racial household.
"That's really the chance you get to separate yourself from the pack," he says.
Wadford says he is humbled by the achievement and is aware it is uncommon for someone hailing from St. Stephen to head to Cambridge, Mass. to further their education.
"Don't let where you are right now determine where you're going to be," he said. "If I would've sat back and thought 'I'm from a town of less than 2,000 people I'm not going to be accepted into these schools,' then I would've never applied and got this good news."
Wadford said he plans to study political science but admits he doesn't know what he wants to do with the degree.