Getting accepted to your top college pick is hard enough. But keeping that news all to yourself is hard too — which is why Barrington Lincoln, a senior at Lutheran High School North in Ferguson, Missouri, deserves all the applause this week after keeping his college acceptance a secret for not one … not two … but 10 whole days last month.
As Lincoln later told ABC News, he knew he wanted to break the news to his mom and aunt in a special way. So when he learned he’d gotten into Morehouse College on December 15, he figured what better time to reveal it than on Christmas Day?
And so, on December 25, Lincoln’s mom, Lisa McDonald, and his aunt, Shirley Gray, found themselves giddily opening presents from him while sitting side by side. The two sisters ripped open the wrapping paper and held up their gifts to show the camera: A t-shirt that said “Morehouse College Aunt” for Shirley and”Morehouse College Mom” for Lisa.
Both women were happy to get their gifts — even if they didn’t quite knew what they meant at first.
“You know what that means right?” Lincoln asks in a now-viral video of the special moment. “I got in!”
And that’s when both the ladies promptly freak out.
“You’ve been holding out on us?!” his Aunt Shirley asks, in shock, right before the two women start screaming with excitement.
“I didn’t expect anything like that,” McDonald later told ABC News. “It’s so gratifying to see him get the return on his studying.”
The proud mama also shared that her son sacrificed plenty of time with friends and family to get his grades where they needed to be to get accepted into his top school — and clearly, it all paid off.
“He always wanted to lead and be the first in line and help everybody stay in line,” said McDonald.
“I have worked extremely hard in high school,” adds Lincoln. “From staying after school ’til 6 PM to pulling all-nighters to make sure I mastered the material, I’ve done whatever it took to succeed.”
But 17-year-old Lincoln hasn’t been the only one working hard these last four years. McDonald shared that she had to take on an extra job herself, just to be able to afford his private school tuition. (Sadly, Lincoln’s father passed away in 2015, when Barrington was just 15 years old.)
“All kids need to have quality education,” McDonald told the outlet. “I am putting an investment in his future.”
She certainly is. And her son couldn’t be more grateful.
As for getting into his top college pick, Lincoln tells Babble that he’s pretty much over the moon — especially since he’s been dreaming of going to Morehouse for a long time.
“I view Morehouse as ‘paradise’ for a young black man seeking success,” he shares. “They not only produce some of the most well-educated African American men, but they shape individuals to change the world and I wanted to be a part of that.”
And soon, he will be. But for now, he gets to bask in some unexpected viral fame — which so far, has been pretty fun.
“It’s been incredible!” Lincoln tells Babble. “I only uploaded the video because a lot of my friends wanted to see and it blew up overnight. I feel like a mini celebrity! I am more excited on the fact that I was able to share this video with the world and that it brought smiles to a lot of faces over the holiday!”
Best of luck to Lincoln in college next year, where he’ll be studying business administration with an emphasis in finance. And a big congrats to his auntie and mom, who are no doubt going to be cheering him on from home in every way possible.