cameron-clarke

With all the media coverage criticizing black men, it’s always great to hear of those making extraordinary accomplishments in their lives. One such achiever is Cameron Clarke, 18, of Fort Washington.

The senior at Germantown Academy in Fort Washington, PA, received a perfect score on his SAT (2400). He is one of 360 students who received a perfect score this year out of 1.66 million test-takers, according to SAT officials.

The National Merit Scholarship semifinalist told Philly.com this accomplishment is a result of hard work:

“I put in a lot of work. I took a prep class with some of my friends, and I did a lot of practice tests from a book. But that only prepares you so much. The difference between getting, like, a 2400 and a couple of points lower is just focus.”

Both focus and persistence can be credited for Clarke’s perfect score. He scored a 2190 the first time he took the SAT. Clarke then took the test a second time, believing he could score even higher. And that he did.

His next goal? Attending his dream college: Princeton. The academic superstar, who writes for his school paper, participates in a math club, tutors other students, and is a senator in his school’s student government, has a great shot.

  • mishie

    Wow! I’m impressed. Sounds like a driven young man. Glad to read such a positive story. Kudos to him and all of his hard work

  • Starla

    Wonderful story! I wish him all the best for his future, he is obviously a teen with a mission.

  • http://www.urbanromanceonline.com UrbanRomanceEIC

    This is awesome! Best of luck to this young man. Looks like a future president to me :)

  • The Artist

    Impressive! Well done, Mr. Clarke. ;-)

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    philly….

  • EST. 1986

    I was going to say that with a perfect score he could go to any college he wants, but I see that he going to be attending Princeton.

  • GeekMommaRants

    Awesome, we need much more of this!! This young man may become the next black President! Yaay!!

  • b

    I LOVE reading articles like this!

  • http://gravatar.com/cocovabarbie KemaVA

    Looks like this young man has a very bright future!

  • http://www.myblackfriendsays.com myblackfriendsays

    Nice job, Cameron (:

  • LemonNLime

    Good for him! Wishing him much success in his education.

  • Anorexicbob

    As did his father

  • Jenn

    Cameron is my cousin & I’m so proud of him! His mom (who is my cousin) & his dad raised an amazing young man.

  • D.T.

    Awesome!!

  • Me

    Not trying to be a hater because this is really great and something to be proud of but, 1) it’s not surprising at all; he seems to come from a wealthy (relatively) family and 2)is probably not bogged down with any of the same issues that inner city black children are plagued with. I think we (America as a whole) need to focus on accomplishments outside of test scores. No one wrote an article when a non-prep school educated guy from Sierra Leone found a way to create his own batteries and a generator from much less than a guy who did well on a test he paid to study for. http://www.thetakeaway.org/2012/dec/12/encouraging-culture-innovation/.

    When he does great things in the world I think that will be much more of a cause for celebration.but congrats. I’m sure there will be much more to hear about from him.

  • Amaka

    Yay Cameron!!

  • http://www.beyondblackwhite.com Christelyn Russell-Karazin

    Nerds are where it’s at, ladies.

  • Caramel

    Way to go Cam!!!!!!! Smart is the new sexy and cool, just like Obama

  • Anorexicbob

    It’s not really surprising because the kid goes to Germantown Academy, which is a pipeline to UPenn and other Ivy League schools. Success was planned for this kid probably from day one.

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    Congrats! That is great news to hear! It is always cool and IN to be smart!

  • seriously?

    Good job, you are already more successful than I probably will ever bem

  • Mimi K

    So proud. But when will we have more black kids doing this so when it happens it isn’t made in to an article. Just saying ready for stuff like this to be the norm, expected, and a routine part for all kids race aside

  • Keepitreal

    Is this a joke post?
    So this young man’s accomplishments shouldn’t be celebrated because he isn’t dirt poor? GTFO
    From this post to the anger at the young woman who had the audacity to start an organization for black women in top business schools–I can only hope and pray most people aren’t this repulsive. Class envy doesn’t accomplish a damn thing except bitterness.

    It’s not his fault you/your parent/s didn’t make better choices in life.

  • Anthony

    I am impressed with the work he put into getting a perfect score. That is a good indicator that he is not coasting on ability, and will do well in a competitive program. I just hope he can handle the inevitable hostility that comes from so many corners when a young black man does not follow the expected stereotype.

  • Well..

    The first black president.

  • Dee

    lol, There are MANY people who come from ridiculously rich family who can’t achieve a perfect SAT score. I mean I get your point, but unless he has a photographic memory he had to study extremely hard to get that score.

  • chinaza

    Outstanding! Congratulations! Continue on this path of excellence and make wise choices at college.
    This is what we should be reading about!

  • mikey kun

    this story warms my heart, good job Cameron get the most out of life

  • dirtychai

    This is awesome! I hope that he has the support that he needs to continue moving forward with his education.

  • http://addassamari.edublogs.org/ Gail

    As a teacher, every day I am faced with young Black children, especially boys, who are lackadaisical about their school work. I read lots of research based material and increasingly I see negative growth trends in the academic achievement of Black males.It pains me to see our young men come to class with little of no interest in learning, no ambition to change, and more interest in causing trouble. This story restores my faith. It reassures me that there are young men of color who are willing to do their due diligence and reap the rewards of hard work. Congratulations Cameron Clark, excellent job on the SAT.

  • Court F

    Why would you assume that he comes from a wealthy family. Being from Philly, I know plenty of students that went to Germantown on scholarship and weren’t well off. Maybe it’s possible that because he DID grow up in less than stellar circumstances that he was inspired him to do better.

  • LadyP

    YES! This is great, great news. Cameron Clarke—I am writing this name down so I can remember him and his achievements. I am sure we will see his name again. This is holiday-worthy conversation. Congrats to this intelligent young man and his parents for doing a great job!

  • LadyP

    It pains me as well and you are right, this is truly some refreshing news.

  • http://gravatar.com/lovegiraffes onegirl

    I am so proud of this young man! It is an outstanding accomplishment and he deserves all the praise he has hopefully received. I wish him the best at Princeton or wherever he decides to go. Great job!!

  • LemonNLime

    Tell him to aim for the stars! No doubt with test scores and dedication like that, he could be a Rhodes Scholar or something.

  • GlowBelle

    Now THIS is the stuff I’d like to hear, some good news for a change!

    Wow what an impressive class act. Congrats to him! We need more kids (heck, more adults too) to follow in his footsteps. I wish him well on his future.

  • http://yourchildsmother.blogspot.com/ KMN

    This is a beautiful thing…so proud of hm like he’s my own child.

    I hope that he continues being successful and fulfilling his dreams

    KMN

  • Sparkles

    The honest truth is that this young man will not receive any affection from a lot of black women. Only after time has passed or when he dates outside his race will he then be “valued”

  • Joy

    Sparkles: I’m really not sure where ur coming from with your comment. Your comment is really absurd!

  • Joy

    Anthony you said….”I just hope he can handle the inevitable hostility that comes from so many corners when a young black man does not follow the expected stereotype.” I’m not sure where you live, or what type of peeps you hang out with. The camp (just a term) I’m from would be so proud of this young man. Be careful of the company you keep.

  • Joy

    Me: Yes an article was ritten about the young man from Sierra Leone. That’s how I first heard about him.

  • Joy

    Dee: Thanks for your insight. Just because someone is raised in an affluent family doesn’t guarantee success. There are many many many people that were raised in poor, or middleclass families that have done very well in life. Doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers, Office managers, etc.

  • Sean Coonery

    Excuses, excuses. Let’s abandon the American standard of academic excellence because ghetto kids can’t learn, is what you’re saying. That’s the same lazy thinking behind trying to legitimatize Black English a.k.a. “Ebonics” because n e g r o e s after 400 years can’t speak normal English. And we are here to focus on and celebrate this young African-American brotha who is on his way, don’t try to defect to the African guy, that’s another article. But anything to undermine African-American achievement, you should be ASHAMED

  • student

    1. One does not marry an aggregation of people, one marries one person.
    2. He is more than his sex/love life, Obviously
    3. He might be gay.
    4. Your bad luck with black women might be your fault. Bitterness is not sexy.

  • cupcakes and shiraz

    Whoo hoo! This is AWESOME!

  • cupcakes and shiraz

    I agree. The problem is the equity in the educational system, not standardized testing. I think that if inner-city children had access to the same resources as suburban kids, they’d thrive just as well. To suggest otherwise implies that they are somehow dumber.

  • Mademoiselle

    @Mimi Only 360 students out of the 1.66 million that took the test achieved this. Also, just because this kid got an interview doesn’t mean there aren’t other black kids amongst the 360. A perfect score will always be rare and notable because the test is designed to identify kids who lead the pack. So the more perfect scores become the norm, the harder/more abstract they’ll make the questions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/barbara.j.brooks.96 Barbara J. Brooks

    It seems that you are saying that there are no young, intelligent black women who value black men for their intelligence. Such a sentiment is shamefully narrow minded.

  • Well..

    The honest truth is this young man WILL probably receive all sorts of affection from a lot of equally intelligent young black women who may not resemble the typical “video ho”

    The honest truth is this young man like so many brainwashed to look at the outer shell will try to “holler” at the latter who no doubt will reject him strictly on the superficial.

    The honest truth is I hope this young man doesn’t grow up to be bitter and angry at ALL black women for said rejection like so many rich and successful brothers.

  • ArabellaMichaela

    Yaay Cameron!!!
    Assuming he has good “extracurricular activities” to put on the applications, he’ll probably get into Princeton.
    As for the commenters who think the black community/black girls will shun him, I say not where I come from. I attended 2 Ivy League schools. Also am AA. I can tell you, we like smart guys. You can keep the ballers. I prefer the guy smart enough to be the CEO and own the team.

  • mr.vicious

    What would happen if young bw chased young men like him vs the little waynes in the community, in terms of numbers.

  • Chelle

    Thank you @ Ms. Brooks. Smart men are extremely attractive to many.

    @ Mr. Vicious, that would change black America as we know it. Make it like paradise, lol.

  • Me

    No one was trying to undermine his accomplishments. I acknowledged in my post that it is a great thing to be proud of. I just acknowledged the impact that environment has. I think him getting into Princeton is more a cause for celebration that his test score.The guy from Sierra Leone was just an example; I’m not saying he should have come from a dirt- poor-in-Africa background to be praised. Believe it or not I go to a school (not Princeton) for engineering and people (black or not) who scored 2300+ weren’t any better off because that test score, which doesn’t include aptitude measures for 12th grade math, wasn’t helping with critical thinking or any other skill necessary for success outside of paying for help to study for an exam you pay for. In addition to the fact that no one cares after the first semester. Maybe I’m just a cynic and think that half of these exams are a joke but the only way to get to where to you need to be unless your g-parents bought a building.

    At Sean Coonery: 1) No one is saying to abandon the “American standard of excellence” because kids can’t learn. You must be living in box if you think kids in the ghetto are being taught well enough to have the opportunity to go to a college like Princeton (with or without a 2400) or any college at all. The SAT after a certain point no longer measures knowledge, but strategy, which is exactly what helped him get to 2400.
    2) That “American standard of excellence” is long gone unless you live in Massachusetts. American standards have fallen by the wayside thanks to No Child Left Behind and its descendant Race to the Top which focus on test scores so much that students aren’t even learning because we lower our standards so much so they can pass. On a world scale we are way behind in math, science, and writing/vocabulary.

    I am not undermining African-American achievement, I just think we should have higher standards for it and bring everyone as close to it as they can get.

  • Me

    Congrats Cameron on being smart and strategic enough to get a perfect score!

  • Jonnie

    Plenty of kids that score 2400 of any race have articles written about them. 2400s are considered newsworthy, black or not. I go to a top 3 school and I would say at least half of my classmates have had at least some little note about their HS success in their local newspapers. I get your point, but there will always be articles about kids like this. Let’s just hope that someday they don’t have to be about race as well.

  • Jonnie

    What a winner! I stared at the picture long enough to realize that we seem to share a favorite composer and that he has my AP World History textbook. I was hoping he’d be interested in my college, but Princeton’s a fine choice and, if he gets in, he’ll certainly never be unsatisfied with the aesthetics of the campus.
    I’m surprised to hear he studied, but glad it worked out for him.

  • JNoire

    Great job Cameron! I am so proud!

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