Ethiopia’s top high school student this year is Biruk Zewdu, who got the highest score in his final-year national exams.
“I was expecting a good result, but not at national level,” said Biruk, from Ayelech Degefu Memorial School in Bahir Dar in the Amhara Region.
“If someone studies hard and strives, it shows nothing is impossible,” he told BBC Amharic.
His mother seemed more overjoyed than the 19-year-old with his result, saying her efforts to pay school fees had borne fruit.
She told the BBC that her son was particularly interested in technology and dreamed one day of working for Nasa, the US space agency.
He also got a commendation from Ethiopia’s former running champion Haile Gebrselassie, who owns the school, which was opened 19 years ago and named after his mother.
“Biruk can be an exemplar for his family, teachers and friends,” he told local media.
“He has made a dream come true after 19 years.”
There have been some protests about the results of some of this year’s exams – especially over the general knowledge paper, which was marked using the wrong multiple choice answer sheet.
But it is not believed this will make a difference to Biruk’s overall score.
The overall results decide if students qualify to go to university.