Everyone has a story to tell, but for Omarion Ikaika Calloway, becoming a storyteller might just be the ultimate dream career and he’s one step closer!
According to USA Today, the high school senior has been accepted into 21 colleges and universities and could soon be on his way to his dream school as the first in his family to ever pursue higher education.
Calloway, who is committed to becoming a storyteller, credits his grandmother for encouraging him to apply to his dream school, New York University. At the age of 10, he became her caretaker and would even read her some of the stories he’d written upon tucking her in for bed at night. Now that she has since transitioned, he aims to keep the dreams she had for him alive through his work.
“My grandmother…inspired me to apply to NYU,” he said in an interview with the outlet.
Not only has Calloway been accepted into 21 schools, he has also racked up the money to attend college. He now has over $1.3 million in scholarships as a first-generation college student.
“I want to be a storyteller, screenwriter and also a director, producer,” he shared.
As a kid, whenever Calloway felt like he was under a lot of pressure, he would use his love for telling stories as an outlet. After receiving a camera for his mother one Christmas, he would film his younger brother around the house, putting together short films and then gathering the family around to watch.
“I would just write down my thoughts and project them onto the characters I made up in my head and just went from there,” he recalled. “I just fell in love with storytelling ever since.”
Destined For Greatness
During the summer of 2021, Calloway held an internship with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office where his tasks included weed pulling and pressure washing. During his time there, one of his mentors explained how he watched the teen blossom and really come out of his shell, enhancing his communication skills along the way.
“He was like a sponge,” said his mentor Isaac Forbes.
On the other hand, when his school shifted to virtual learning during the pandemic, Calloway was able to adapt quickly and maintain a GPA over 3.9 while many students found it challenging to switch up their learning styles.
“I have about 50 students in the program, I could have 25 of him, I think it would make my job a lot easier,” said J. Kelly Ross, a facilitator for virtual learning. “He’s one of those students that has an attitude that’s rare for a high school student. Pretty much already ready for college, I’m sure.”