Ayrton Little offers a simple piece of advice on how to get into Harvard University: “Always work hard!” he told NewsOne. The 16-year-old Opelousas, Louisiana student attends school year-round, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. “You have to be dedicated to greatness,” he added.

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There’s another magic ingredient to his success—having a mother who is your “number one supporter” and who always stresses the importance of education. Her high expectations motivated Ayrton to make her proud.

The Ivy League bound student didn’t tell his mom that he applied to Harvard. “I wanted to surprise her by showing her the man I’ve become,” he said. And what a surprise it was:

On Tuesday, the TM Landry College Prep senior opened his decision letter online. The room, filled with classmates and family, erupted in joy when Ayrton saw the good news. It was a double celebration for his family because Ayrton’s brother had been accepted into Stanford University on Friday.

He intends to major at Harvard in applied math with a minor in computer science. After that, Ayrton plans to work on Wall Street. The teen also wants to start a nonprofit organization to reach back and help other kids in struggling communities like his to achieve their academic goals.

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