A Philadelphia teen who went viral after getting an acceptance letter from Morehouse College has just received a full-ride scholarship.

The Germantown Friends School high school senior, Amir Staten, earned a 4-year Bonner Scholars Scholarship and another $20,000 in academic funds. Staten plans to major in Sociology, hoping to serve as a representation for Black peers in Philly.

The scholarship is something to celebrate, but this moment also comes with emotional ties. Staten and his mother, Karlyyne Staten, finally have peace of mind knowing he will leave the dangerous city.


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In an exclusive interview with The Shade Room, Karlynne thanked the outlet for helping her son gain views and receive the needed support from readers.

“Your platform had soooo much to do with his scholarship. Words can’t even explain the gratitude and thanks,” Karlyyne said.

Amir, 17, just celebrated his admission to the elite HBCU. His mother captured and shared the special moment online, which quickly went viral on social media. In the video, the delighted mother congratulated her son, “Congratulations, baby.” Staten held nothing back as he ran excitedly up his street while clapping, screaming and jumping.


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He hopes his college acceptance motivates his peers to be “cool” and attend college.

“It’s OK to go to college. It’s cool to go to college. It’s cool to pick up a book; it’s cool to get a degree. You don’t have to be involved in the streets,” Amir told CBS Philadelphia.

According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Karlyyne shared the murder of Amir’s 18-year-old godbrother in 2021 changed her perspective on living and raising a child in Philly.

“I had a couple of mixed emotions because you know he’s going to get out. He is going to get out of Philly. I love Philly to death, but it is not safe for him,” she said. “I love my city, but I’m happy he’s getting out.”

Karlyyne believes her son’s college acceptance will also inspire her city due to many young Black men in the city walking in the opposite direction of the college path.

“It’s just showing a different light,” Karlyyne said. “To see a young Black man in Philadelphia celebrating an educational victory is like unheard of,” she said.

The happy mother knows the death of her godson motivated her son to live his life to its full potential.

“I think at that moment he thought about all of that,” Karlynne said in a telephone interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Congrats to Amir on being accepted into his top choice, Morehouse College, where he plans to study sociology. Staten will graduate from high school this June.