Clinton Ehidom is heading to medical school at the ripe old age of 19.
"I remember receiving my MCAT score first on the train, and I almost broke down in tears," he said. "All I could say was, 'I’m going to be a doctor! I’m going to be a doctor!'"
He's a young man in a hurry. He was the youngest student at his high school, Frederick Douglass Academy III in the Bronx, entering when he was 12. His passion for science and biology, though, began much earlier, in Nigeria, where he was born.
"I remember catching lizards and grasshoppers with my bare hands," he said.
He has a nearly perfect 3.97 grade point average at York College in Queens and will graduate with high honors June 1. He's been accepted into six prestigious medical schools so far.
"There are a million people I could mention that have impacted my career," he said.
Ehidom credits professors like Andrew Criss, who helped him with the med school applications.
"Great kid," Criss said. "He doesn’t only do well in the class. He really tries to help other students out in the class. He’s always an active participant."
Ehidom travels nearly two hours every morning and evening to and from his home in Fordham to the York campus in Jamaica. He said he's a happy commuter.
"Because I get to study on the train, and if I were driving, which I considered, I would lose that study time," he said.
Ehidom is familiar with long journeys. He immigrated from Nigeria eight years ago, joining his father and siblings here. He has a green card and is taking his citizenship test in the coming weeks. But he says Nigeria still holds a special place in his heart.
“It’s like a diamond," he said. "When you first see it, it’s in this bad state. When you work with it and polish it up, it becomes what it is."