While some high school seniors quietly check their college acceptance emails alone to see if they were accepted, Brendon Gauthier opened his email in front of his entire school and family.
Gauthier, a 17-year-old senior from Opelousas, Louisiana, sat down at a computer at his school, T.M. Landry College Prep, last Thursday to see whether he had been accepted by early admission to Cornell University, the only college to which he applied.
When Gauthier found out he had been accepted, his family, friends and classmates started jumping up and down, screaming and crying. A video of the reaction of Gauthier and his family and friends has garnered thousands of views on Facebook.
“That moment, it was just the grandest moment in my life,” Gauthier told ABC News. “It was like I was busting out of my skin."
The video couldn’t contain everything,” said Gauthier, who fulfilled a T.M. Landry tradition where the entire school is present to support seniors as they receive their college acceptance notices.
A representative for Cornell, an Ivy League school in Ithaca, New York, confirmed Gauthier's acceptance to ABC News. Gauthier said he will be the first member of his family to attend an Ivy League school.
Gauthier is also the sixth graduate from T.M. Landry, a small private school, to be accepted into an Ivy League college.
“He’s passionate about what he wants to do,” said Tracey Landry, who founded the school with her husband, Michael. The Landrys made Gauthier go through a rigorous exercise to make sure Cornell was the "right fit."
“He’d have to write essays and give speeches about why Cornell was the right fit and every time we said, 'No,' he would come back and explain,” she told ABC News. “It was part of the process to see if he fully loved the university or was just picking it as an Ivy League university."
He proved to us that Cornell was the school,” she said.
Gauthier, who said he has a 4.0 GPA, plans to graduate from high school this spring and start at Cornell in the fall. He plans to enroll in the university's animal science program and hopes to become a veterinarian and also work in the stock market.
Gauthier said that while he waits for next fall, he is preparing himself for the cold winters in upstate New York, a far cry from the Louisiana weather to which he is accustomed.
“I have mentally prepared myself,” he said. “I drive every day with my windows down to feel as much cold air as possible and I’m starting to buy a lot of warm clothes to bundle up.”