Photo Credit: GoFundMe
Richard Jenkins has gone from being homeless to getting a full ride to Harvard University. The Philadelphia teen was homeless during his adolescent years and found solace in his dreams of going to the prestigious university. Now, his dream is coming true.
“I didn’t realize it was a possibility until last year,” he tells CNBC. “My goal has always been to go to a school where I wouldn’t have to pay and where I wouldn’t graduate with debt.”
During his childhood years of being homeless, his peers maliciously nicknamed him “Harvard.” But this didn’t discourage him. Jenkins vowed to follow through with his dreams so his children wouldn’t have to experience the same hardships he was experiencing.
“My drive comes from just wanting to see myself and my family be in a better situation and I do think drive is important for everybody, but what’s more important is that once you find what it is that you want, you have to keep working for it,” he said. “People may think that they’ve done enough, but it’s never enough.”
Due to being under so much stress as a child, he suffered from migraines which landed him in the hospital for weeks at a time. Jenkins persevered through his adversity and was accepted into Girard College, a boarding high school for children from single parent families with a low-income. He made sure to have straight As and ended up being named the class valedictorian.
Jenkins will be studying computer science at Harvard, with hopes of creating a “more intuitive Siri.” His godfather has created a GoFundMe page to cover additional expenses, which you can donate to here.