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13-Year Old Nigerian-American Accepted into Duke Gifted Program

Noella Ukpe Roberts, a 13-year Nigerian-American, has made it into Duke University as a result of her talent. The teenage girl was said to have narrated adorable videos of her favorite folktale, Lao Lao Tou, in fluent Chinese in 2013. Duke University invited the seventh grade student to join its Talent Identification Program (TIP) which would start in October.

She will be taking a college-level equivalent course in finance that will explore marketing, innovation and the effects that the stock market, taxes, mortgages and interest-bearing accounts have on our daily financial decisions.

Noella Ukpe Roberts

“Qualifying for Duke’s Summer Studies is such an amazing opportunity. I’m hoping to gain skills in finance that will prepare me to own and operate my own animation studio one day,” said Noella.


Each year, Duke TIP identifies a group of academically talented students in the United States based on their exceptional grade-level standardized test scores. Only those who score at or above the 95th percentile qualify to participate in the 7th Grade Talent Search and to take the ACT or SAT, which are designed for college-bound eleventh and twelfth graders. Of those, only the top scoring participants are granted admission to Duke’s Summer Studies Program.

“We are so proud of our daughter,” said Noella’s father, Gabriel Emegha. “She has consistently worked hard at her academics and is extraordinarily focused and determined to make her dreams come true!”

Participants in the 7th Grade Talent Search also receive a variety of support services and gain access to research and other information about using their academic abilities more effectively.


Written by PH

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