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Fargo North senior accepted to all 8 Ivy League schools

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FARGO — A Fargo high schooler is bracing for one of biggest decisions of his life: where to go to college.

Martin Altenburg is choosing between almost all of the country's most prestigious schools.

Sure, Altenburg can play the violin. He doesn't just play it, he plays it well.

In fact, the Fargo North senior does just about everything well.

"I'm in cross-country, swimming, track. I'm in orchestra, chamber orchestra, youth symphony. I'm the concertmaster of our school orchestra. I'm a district lieutenant governor for key club," says Martin.


And he does just about, well, everything.

"There's not a math team, but I'm a part of a lot of math competitions. I'm a co-founder and one of the co-chairs of the Fargo Youth Initiative," he continues. "I don't want to leave anything out. Can I look at my resume?"

Aside from the resume fodder, Martin fills any leftover time with side projects, like maintaining a Twitter account for his graphing calculator.

"It's TINspireCX—like the name of the calculator, but it's called Mr. Steal Yo Girl," he says.

Friday after school, he was squeezing in homework before helping with North's Relay for Life.

In the past year, he's also put considerable time into college applications.

"I wanted to just apply to as many schools as possible because back then I wasn't sure where I'd get in and where I wouldn't get in," he says.

Even the straight-A over-achiever was nervous about getting into one of the 20 or so colleges where he applied.

"It worked out," he says. "I got into a few schools, so that was nice."

You might recognize a few of those schools like Princeton, Dartmouth, Brown or Harvard.

"Yale was the last letter I opened," he says. "And I was like, 'OK, if I get into this, I've gotten into all eight Ivy Leagues.'"

He did get into all eight, plus Stanford and MIT.

Martin's still deciding where to go, but it's clear where ever he decides, he'll do well.

"You have a chance to do well at whatever college environment you put yourself in, whether it's NDSU, Concordia, Stanford. Maybe a school in another country," he says

He's leaning toward either Stanford, MIT, Harvard or Princeton.

Most of the schools are offering him full financial assistance.

Catherine Ross

Catherine joined the WDAY 6 News team as a reporter and photographer in April of 2014 and is honored to bring you stories from around the Red River Valley. She grew up in a suburb of Minneapolis and got her first taste of the news industry during a high school mentorship at Fox 9 in the Twin Cities. Catherine graduated from Emerson College in Boston where she participated in the student-run TV station WEBN and spent a semester in Washington, DC working at Voice of America. Those opportunities gave her a front-row seat to the 2012 Presidential election cycle, reporting at the Iowa Caucuses, Republican National Convention and President Obama’s second inauguration. Now happy to be back closer to family, Catherine enjoys exploring the nature and culture of the upper Midwest. She’s an avid runner, novice foodie and lifelong Twins fan. If you have any story ideas or just want to say hello, Catherine would love to hear from you!

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