Woodlawn High School student accepted to 31 colleges, earns $1.3 million in scholarship offers

Birmingham, Alabama, Benjamin Holmes, WBRC
Birmingham, Alabama, Benjamin Holmes, WBRC
Woodlawn senior Benjamin Holmes on WBRC. Screenshot via WBRC

Hard work and preparation has paid off Benjamin Holmes of Birmingham. The Woodlawn High School senior began working on his college applications this summer. Now the acceptance letters are in—all 31 of them. Combined, his scholarship offers total $1.3 million.

The achievement has brought a flurry of media attention for the Birmingham teen. Both WVTM-13’s Larissa Scott and WBRC’s Jamiese Price have featured his story.

So far, the list of accepting colleges includes Ohio State, University of Tampa, DePaul, Stillman, Alabama State, Alabama A&M, the University of Alabama, University of Arizona and Fisk, among others.

Birmingham, Alabama, Woodlawn, students
Photo of Woodlawn High School students by Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now

What Made Him Stand Out

First, the Woodlawn High School senior has a 4.0 and ranks No. 1 in his class, but he’s also the whole package. He mentors, tutors and volunteers at the Crisis Center in Birmingham.

His Reaction to All the Attention

“My favorite part of all the recognition and attention is the outpour of students and parents reaching out for advice or help on the college/scholarship application process!”

Benjamin Holmes via Facebook post

Holmes is using the spotlight to talk about the good work his peers are doing, too.

“There are some good students at Woodlawn who are thriving and who are making a difference in their community,” he told WVTM 13. “(They) are as academically inclined as any other student.”

What’s Next

Holmes hasn’t decided on a college yet, though he has narrowed the choices down to his top five. After college, he plans to return to Birmingham City Schools to teach. We certainly hope so. What a fine addition to our education community he would be.