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Meet Richard Jenkins,Homeless Kid Who Got Full Ride Scholarship To Harvard

Things really can change in the blink of an eye. From hopelessness to a bright future as is the case with Richard Jenkins, the homeless kid who now has a full ride scholarship to Harvard University.

Of course the scholarship did not just fall into Richard’s laps, it came off hardworking and staying the course in the face of adversity.

Life dealt Richard an unfavorable card when they lost their home to foreclosure, causing to attend school for his fourth to sixth grade from a shelter.

This didn’t beat the 18-year-old Philadelphia student down, it instead spires him on as he knew good grades were his way out.

“That was what triggered me that I needed to chase something,” Jenkins told CNN. “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.”


Jenkins, even before the loss of his home, had always being an excellent student and he kept himself at that level. Through school bullies and migraines that put him in the hospital, Richard remained determined to come out with top grades. Recognizing this, his mother enrolled him in Girard College, a Philadelphia boarding school for gifted students that offers reduced admission for single-parent homes.

Jenkins continued to excel at Girard, joining “mock trial program, the World Affairs Council and the basketball team. He also started Makers’ Space Club, an area with 3D printers, sewing machines and other DIY equipment students can use to bring their ideas to life,” according to CNN.

Jenkins went on to apply to some of the nation’s top schools, like Yale and the University of Pennsylvania, who denied and wait-listed him respectively. However, Harvard not only accepted him, but offered him a full academic scholarship. Now, Jenkins will be graduating as his school’s valedictorian and headed to an Ivy League university to study computer science, with a special interest in artificial intelligence.

Knowing there are others who are also having it bad, Jenkins said this to ABC News: “Figure out what it is that you want to work for, like why do you want to follow your dreams? “Why do you want to search for that thing that you want? What is driving you to do that? Once you know what that is, focus on the goal because the goal is what’s going get you through those times.”

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