Man recovered from Ithaca Falls was incoming Cornell freshman

ITHACA, N.Y. -- Cornell University is offering their sympathies to the family of an incoming freshman who drowned in Ithaca Falls this weekend. The student was a young man who rose to fame even before he ever stepped foot on campus.

A video showing Winston Perez-Ventura being accepted to Cornell went viral last year. The Bronx native was the first student accepted to college from the new Democracy Prep Harlem High School. He also would have been the first person in his family to go to college.

State police say Perez-Ventura's body was recovered from Fall Creek around 7:15 p.m. Saturday. Crews were first called to the scene hours earlier for a report of a missing swimmer.

Cornell University says Perez-Ventura was in Ithaca with fellow incoming students for a summer program.

The university released a statement saying quote: "As a high school student, Winston participated in The Fellowship Initiative, an enrichment program for young men of color. He was an exceptional person who would have contributed greatly to our university community."

Counseling services are available at the university for anyone in need.

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