Barrington Lincoln, class president at Lutheran High School North in Ferguson, Missouri, got accepted into Morehouse College in Atlanta back on Dec. 15. But for months, he knew he wanted to reveal the news in a big way to his mother and aunt, Lincoln told ABC News.
"I thought of the surprise in October," he said, adding that once he got accepted he purchased two school T-shirts from Morehouse's online store.
On Christmas Day, in a now viral video on Twitter, Lincoln, 17, gifted his mom Lisa McDonald and his aunt Shirley Gray the T-shirts with the school's name on it. When the two sisters opened the gifts, they had no idea what they meant.
In the video, Lincoln nudges his family, "You know what that means right? I got in!"
While McDonald collapses on the couch in delight, Gray asks, "You've been holding out on us?"
"I didn’t expect anything like that," McDonald told ABC News of the now viral moment. "It’s so gratifying to see him get the return on his studying."
McDonald noted that her son has sacrificed time with friends and family to achieve his goals.
"He always wanted to lead and be the first in line and help everybody stay in line," his mother added.
McDonald said it's especially sweet since she had to work an extra job to afford his private school after his father, a former Marine, passed away in 2015. Lincoln was only 15.
"All kids need to have quality education," the Missouri mother added. "I am putting an investment in his future."