Students receive African American Recognition Program award from College Board


Photo by Jasmine Allison

Oyintare Porbeni and Oyinpreye Porbeni received the College Board African American Recognition Program award. Both of them have an opportunity to connect with universities and colleges with this award.

Jasmine Z. Allison, Social Media Editor

Junior Oyintare Porbeni and senior Oyinpreye Porbeni were recognized by the College Board African American Recognition Program for outstanding academic achievement for 2020-2021. The College Board National Recognition Program is a way for underrepresented students to connect with colleges and universities across the country.

Oyintare and Oyinpreye were two of three students selected from SAHS by the College Board recognition programs.

When asked about how they felt about receiving such a selective award, Oyintare expressed that it was nice to see that they got recognized by something, especially their academic work.

The program is open to students who take College Board tests and indicate their ethnicity as African American or Black. In terms of testing requirements, students must take the PSAT 10 and/or the PSAT/NMSQT and score in the top 10% of their state. Another option would be to take two or more AP exams and score at least a three or higher on all of them. Students must also submit an official transcript of their high school career so far and have a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

Both Oyinpreye and Oyintare believe that it was their AP scores and their PSAT scores that qualified them for this award. Oyintare scored a 1215 and Oyinpreye scored a 1290 on the PSAT.

These requirements are hard to meet for many people in a normal year, but to achieve such academic distinction during Covid-19 is even more challenging. The pandemic put incredible strain on many students’ school life and maintaining high academic achievement was more difficult.

“I think the fact that they were able to be recognized in the program during the pandemic is even more important because there were just fewer resources to prepare for the exam,” Sam Taylor, AP test coordinator, said. “I think it says a lot of about those two students specifically that they not only took a bunch of AP exams but did well on them and did really well on them pretty independently.”

Despite the pandemic, Oyinpreye doesn’t see it as a “huge achievement”. She has always been an AP student from the beginning, starting with AP Human Geography as a freshman. So for her, maintaining a high level of academic achievement was something that came naturally.

When asked if there could be more minority students who receive this award, Taylor explained, “SAHS isn’t the most diverse high school, but it is very academically rigorous. So I think that any students of color and minority groups that are here and taking an AP course are really well prepared for an award like this.”

The benefits of this award is that it can be used on college, university and/or scholarship applications and would give any student with award a huge advantage. However, Oyintare however did not include the award in his college applications because he didn’t see a place to include it nor did he focus on it in his essay. Oyinpreye did not disclose whether she included it in her college application, but she did disclose that she is thinking of applying and attending Spelman College in Georgia or NC State.

The College Board Recognition Program is something incredibly special that not many students receive. So for not one, but two SAHS students to receive this award is something that they and the community feels especially proud of. It is also exciting to know that the school is capable of giving students the resources to achieve great things that will help them in their future.

“I think it’s just part of the culture of the school to challenge yourself and do well,” Taylor said. “And students from all different backgrounds that go to Stillwater high school could potentially be up for recognition for programming.”