Someone once asked us who we believe is the strongest college applicant ever. The answer is: Who knows. There are many ridiculously strong applicants. There are Olympians and Broadway performers, established Hollywood stars and war heroes…the list goes on. But if we had to pick one college applicant whose life story is a dream for a highly selective college, we’ll pick a young man who will be graduating this coming Sunday from Dartmouth College. And that young man is William Kamkwamba. Our pick for the greatest college applicant. Ever.
William Kamkwamba wasn’t the president of his high school key club (eye roll!). William didn’t play three varsity sports either (double eye roll!). Nor did he volunteer with six different clubs for a total of 20 hours a week (our eyes are getting tired of rolling!). William, a native of Malawi, quite literally harnessed the wind. Growing up in a village without electricity, William built a windmill out of spare bicycle parts and other junk. This windmill would power his village, thereby changing the lives of those around him.
William’s story is chronicled in his “New York Times” bestseller “The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind.” So let’s just point out a few quick facts. William, a native of Malawi, powered his village, changed lives for the better, co-authored a “New York Times” bestseller, and — shockingly — got into Dartmouth. We are shocked! It must have been a tough decision. It’s not like Dartmouth could market his story in alumni magazines, during presidential speeches around the country, in William’s many TED Talks, etc.
Anyhow, congratulations to William Kamkwamba on your graduation from Dartmouth this Sunday. Your graduation speaker, Shonda Rhimes (Dartmouth Class of 1991), will likely tell graduates in a very creative way (as only she can) to go out and change the world. William, you already have.