A Neumann-Goretti student will become the East Passyunk Crossing school’s first University of Pennsylvania enrollee in three years.
By Joseph Myers
As a boy, Ikym Simon developed an intense interest in reading, with the discipline proving quite helpful last year as he inspected ample outreach from colleges and universities across the country. From among his many distinguished suitors, the senior at Ss. Neumann-Goretti High School chose the University of Pennsylvania and will become his soon-to-be alma mater’s first matriculant at the Ivy League institution since 2016.
“I fell in love with it the most among the places that I considered,” the 17-year-old said from his secondary education site, 1736 S. 10th St. “I feel it will be an excellent place for me to grow thanks to world-class professors who want to mold the next generation of standout leaders.”
The Point Breeze resident learned of his acceptance to the prestigious higher learning location on December 13. He chose Penn over the likes of Drexel, Temple and Villanova universities. Simon feels quite fortunate to have drawn interest from the University of Pennsylvania, and he will continue to call upon the ambition that has guided his entire life when he leaves behind his life as a Neumann-Goretti Saint and becomes a Penn Quaker.
“We’re thrilled for Ikym to have this opportunity to add more great experiences along his journey,” Neumann-Goretti Director of Guidance Megan Hilk said. “We fully expect for him to make us proud every step of the way.”
The future Ivy Leaguer, she noted, will end a three-year drought for Neumann-Goretti in terms of having pupils accepted into the University of Pennsylvania. A few members of the student body typically apply each year, but since the selection process is so incredibly competitive, it can prove tough to earn the sort of distinction that Simon received late last fall.
“I’m glad that Penn saw enough glimpses of my potential to give me this chance,” the youth, whose Neumann-Goretti roster has long included honors and advanced placement courses, said. “I have the capacity to do anything that I put my mind to, so come August and beyond, I’ll be putting that thinking into overdrive.”
When he hits the campus, Simon will likely do so as a Biological Basis of Behavior or Psychology major, with budding interest in political science and African studies also appealing to him. Though he has no set professional aspiration yet, he did reveal that whatever he chooses, he hopes to bring about change and help the world. As for how Neumann-Goretti has encouraged him to be such a motivated force, the grateful representative applauded it for always helping him and his peers to prosper as students and human beings.
“I’ve grown so much as a person in my time here,” Simon said. “I’ve learned more about myself that I ever could have imagined, so, for that, I give everyone here an ‘A+’ in that department.”