(CNN) Whenever he was a kid, Richard Jenkins raised his hand in class so frequently bullies started calling him “Harvard. ”
As it turns out, he has been. Now, after overcoming a difficult childhood, the high school senior through Philadelphia is headed to Harvard College on a full scholarship.
Jenkins, 18, experienced a multitude of difficulties growing up, including low income, medical emergencies and harassment through his classmates. But he switched these obstacles into motivation to produce a better future for himself great family.
He and his two younger siblings were homeless for two years right after their mother lost their home in order to foreclosure, forcing them to move to Tn and then to Florida before going back to Philadelphia.
He remembers living in a pet shelter during the sixth grade and recognizing academics could become his solution.
“That was what triggered me which i needed to chase something, ” he or she told CNN. “No matter what, I can allow myself to go through that any more. I can’t allow my brothers or even my mother to go through that when they may older. ”
Upping his game
Although schoolwork had always come naturally in order to him, Jenkins began studying more difficult to hone his curiosity plus earn good grades.
He excelled in his courses and developed a strong interest in technologies. Despite suffering from severe migraines, which usually landed him in the hospital throughout his freshman year, Jenkins remained on top of his schoolwork.
When his mom learned there was an opening within the eleventh-grade class at Girard College
, a Philadelphia boarding school regarding gifted students from single-parent families in need, she encouraged your pet to apply.
Quiana McLaughlin told CNN the lady liked the extracurricular opportunities the college had to offer and was excited when her son was recognized.
Right now there, Jenkins joined the mock demo program, the World Affairs Council as well as the basketball team. He also began Makers’ Space Club, an area along with 3D printers, sewing machines as well as other DIY equipment students can use to create their ideas to life.
“He is so innovative and he loves taking the initiative to undertake something, ” said Hye Kyong Kim, a tech coordinator in the school, who had Jenkins within her class last fall.
As university application season came, Jenkins made a decision to try Harvard — along with other Ivy League schools — after getting an email from them.
He was visiting Paris on the school trip in late March whenever he learned of the schools’ choices.
Welcome to Class of 2022
Jenkins opened up multiple tabs on his computer, a single with each school he’d put on, as he talked to his sweetheart over the phone.
Penn? Wait-listed. Yale? Refused.
“I thought, ‘Alright, time to start looking from other school options, ‘” he or she said. “Then I opened up Harvard and threw my phone since I saw the word ‘welcome. ‘”
He called their mom to share the news.
“I think I actually said, ‘I told you so , ‘” said McLaughlin, laughing. “I simply had a feeling he would be recognized. He had all the qualifications. ”
It was better still than that. Jenkins also has been awarded a full, need-based scholarship plus a stipend for room and panel.
He or she is graduating as valedictorian in 06 and plans to study computer technology, with a special interest in artificial cleverness.
Jenkins is also looking forward to taking Japanese language lessons and learning to practice Kendo, the martial art involving bamboo swords, since he’s always been captivated by Japan culture.
“I just want him to get success, however he defines this for himself, ” said their proud mom.
His godfather, Donald Kinsey Jr., created a GoFundMe
to assist Jenkins buy a few things just for college, such as new clothes along with a tablet computer.
“He will work his way by means of college, pay for his expenses themselves and won’t ask or require anyone’s help, ” Kinsey stated. “I’m creating this campaign due to the fact Richard Jenkins III deserves an incentive. ”
Jenkins, mindful of his own arduous trip, has advice to other kids along with big dreams.
“There’s going to be times when certainly stumble off the track or believe you don’t want to continue, ” this individual said, “but as long as you stick to the strategy, you’ll be fine. ”