A Philadelphia teen credits his love of books for helping him get where he is today. 18-year-old Richard Jenkins is a senior at Girard College. During an interview, Jenkins said, “Around 6th grade, I was homeless and living in a shelter in Germantown called the Wayne House, actually. Basically, I got tired of being poor, tired of feeling like I had to hide that.”
He was homeless and bullied. That is when the then 6th grader decided he wanted a better life and made a conscious decision to focus on academics. He later said in the interview, “That was the thing I saw I was good at. Some people turn to sports, basketball, football. I was like let’s try to get a full academic scholarship to college.”
That is exactly where the 18-year-old will go to school next fall—Harvard University on a full scholarship—take that bully! He says Harvard wasn’t on his radar initially but remembers getting a promotion email from them his junior year. “That email really changed everything for me,” he said. “I found out Harvard has a great program if families make under $65,000 a year, so I’m like okay all I got to do it get in—game on,” Richard says he’s had lots of influences in his life—both positive and negative—but kept his eye on the prize.
He’s extremely grateful for those who helped him along the way. “I’d just like to say thank you. It’s crazy when I am. It’s crazy where I’m going and I couldn’t have done it alone,” he said. Richard wants to study artificial intelligence and hopes to someday have his own company.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help cover school supplies not covered by his financial aid if you wish to donate, please click here.
This post is an excerpt of an article written by Dawn Timmeney from Fox 29 Philadelphia and if you’d like to read the full article, click here!
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