Even though he was born with cerebral palsy, Matthew Myslenski was determined at the age of seven to attend Harvard University. Strangers were left in tears by Matthew’s reaction to learning that his dream had become a reality last month.
During a now-viral video, Matthew and his twin sister, Magdalena, both 17, can be seen sitting in front of a laptop, checking the status of Matthew’s application. The siblings begin screaming and hugging each other as soon as the computer screen flashes confetti. Harvard is Matthew’s top choice.
“NO WAY!” Magdalena screams, hugging her visibly stunned brother. “NO WAY!”
Matthew told NBC Connecticut that he was utterly shocked. It was one of the best moments of my life.” According to the Harvard student newspaper, only 7.56% of early applicants were admitted to the Class of 2027, the second lowest rate since the college was founded in 1636.
In an interview with NBC Connecticut, Magdalena said, “Every time I get to talk about this, I get so excited because Matthew worked so hard for this.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes cerebral palsy (CP) as a group of disorders that affect mobility and balance. The condition results from abnormal brain development or damage to the developing brain.
Besides challenging me academically, Matthew also worked physically to get to the point where he could do what he wanted. In a statement, Matthew’s teacher, Sara Dziedzic, praised the high school senior’s resilience.
Dziedzic told NBC Connecticut that it says much about his family’s character. It speaks volumes about his character. As a child, he was taught that to succeed, you must overcome and not give up.”
Woodstock Academy’s website says Matthew plans to major in biology and become a doctor. Magdalena plans to attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Matthew said, “I don’t limit myself with anything, and I want to inspire others not to limit themselves.”