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Dennis Barnes: Black Excellence at its Finest

High school senior Dennis Barnes is nearing his goal of breaking a world record by achieving $10 million in accumulative scholarships for college.

A New Orleans high school senior has been making headlines as his academic achievements and Black excellence have captivated audiences everywhere with his impressive world breaking record. Dennis Barnes, 16, has received 125 college offers with a total of $9 million in scholarships. This is more than any other college-bound senior in U.S. history, according to reports.

“The school said that Barnes, a New Orleans native, applied to 200 schools across the country and plans to announce his college decision on May 2,” reports. “The number of offers Barnes received breaks the previous record documented in the Guinness Book of World Records, held by a Lafayette high school senior who received $8.7 million in scholarships in 2019. The school is contacting Guinness to make Barnes’ new record official.” Although Barnes makes this look easy, it can often be extremely competitive to win the caliber of scholarships that Barnes has achieved throughout his high school career.

Barnes plans to study computer science at whatever college he chooses.

How did he do it you might ask? Barnes, who attends the International High School of New Orleans, gave his advice for any seniors working for a similar goal and applying to colleges/scholarships. According to, Barnes said, “I submitted college applications in August, with an eye on raising the bar high for college admissions. Decision letters were an overflow in my mailbox and hundreds of scholarship offers,” Barnes added, “The road to a successful future is to plan ahead, network with the collegiate partners, and know that If you can see your vision, you can achieve your goal.” Additionally, his academic accolades spoke for the focus and determination that he held throughout high school to achieve these full ride scholarship offers to any school of his choice. Barnes’ goal is to reach $10 million in scholarship offers before he makes a decision of where he is continuing his educational career.

According to, “Barnes has maintained a cumulative grade point average of 4.98 at IHSNO and holds leadership positions in the National Honor Society. He is fluent in Spanish and received an official qualification from the Institute Cervantes on behalf of Spain’s Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sports. He was also recently awarded the Jose Luis Baños Award for Excellence in Spanish Language by Maria Page, Honorary Consul of Spain in New Orleans. He plans on pursuing a dual undergraduate degree in computer science and criminal justice. He has been dual enrolled at Southern University of New Orleans for the past two years, earning college credits while pursuing his high school diploma. Barnes is set to graduate from IHSNO on May 24. Dr. Adierah Berger, Head of School for IHSNO, praised Barnes for his dedication to academics and eagerness to help his peers. IHSNO said Barnes was motivated by college admissions counselor Denise James.”

Now, everyone is waiting to see if Barnes can achieve his $10 million cumulative scholarship goal and what university he decides to attend. This is a major accomplishment for the Black community and excellent representation for other young Black women and men across the world. Barnes has shown with determination, focus, and drive that you’re capable of accomplishing anything that you put your mind to.


By Kori Barnes, University of Southern California

Instagram: @korixnicole


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Written by Kori Barnes

Hi! I can eat an entire jar of pickles in one setting and I LOVE to binge watch shows on Netflix. One of the most important quotes to me:
“and in that moment, I swear we were infinite.”

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