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18-year-old homeless boy graduates as valedictorian and wins a full scholarship to Harvard University

Richard Jenkins, a homeless 18-year-old American boy has overcome life’s hurdles to gain a full scholarship to the prestigious Harvard University.

Jenkins faced a truckload of difficulties growing up, medical emergencies, harassment from his classmates, and poverty – the most prominent. Due to foreclosure, his family lost their home and ended up being homeless for years. This forced them to move to Tennessee and then to Florida before heading back to Philadelphia.

In an interview with CNN, he said “that was what triggered me that I needed to chase something. No matter what, I can’t allow myself to go through that anymore. I can’t allow my brothers or my mother to go through that when they’re older.”

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I can’t have my potential kids going through what I’m going through now

Recalling his experience with WHYY, he shared “In the sixth grade, one time I was walking from school with my friend, and he was asking me where I lived. The shelter looked like a big house — it could have been a mansion. So I told him, ‘Yeah, that’s my house right there,’ because I was so embarrassed to say I lived in a shelter. That’s when I realized I’ve got to buckle in because I can’t have my potential kids going through what I’m going through now.”

Through the support of a non-profit after-school program called Mighty Writers, he attended mid-school. The program helped him hone his writing skills, enabling him to apply to competitive and selective high schools to further his academic pursuit.

Luckily for him, he got accepted at Girard College in Pennsylvania, United States, a full-scholarship boarding high school for students from single-parent families with limited financial resources.

There, Jenkins joined the mock trial program, the basketball team, and the World Affairs Council. He also founded Makers’ Space Club, an area with 3D printers, sewing machines and other DIY equipment students can use to birth their creativity.

Throughout his academic studies at Girad College, Richard Jenkins excelled consistently as he cleared all his courses with straight-A’s to secure a 100% high school record to emerge as the valedictorian in his class.

When the season for college application came, Jenkins decided to apply to Harvard, as well as other Ivy League schools. When he checked his mail for their responses, he discovered he was wait-listed by Penn State University, denied by Yale University, but graciously accepted by Harvard University.

Harvard offered him a full, need-based scholarship, including a stipend for room and board.

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Little girl takes pictures of her father who just graduated from university

Meanwhile, a young girl was seen rejoicing by herself with her father, who had just received honours from a university in California, the United States.

The image, which was posted on Twitter, showed the small child expertly managing the camera while her father stood nearby for a celebratory photo.

Following the spread of the nice photos on social media, people praised the young girl for supporting her father during such a momentous time.