When Philadelphia teenager Richard Jenkins used to sleep in a homeless shelter, bullies called him “Harvard” because he was a bookworm. But he’s showing them because now Jenkins is headed to that Ivy League college and he’s got a full scholarship.
When he was in middle school Richard and his mom moved from shelter to motels and back to shelters as she struggled to find steady work. He says he decided to really focus on academics after being embarrassed in sixth grade to tell a friend he was staying in a homeless shelter. The now 18-year-old says, “That’s when I realized I’ve got to buckle in because I can’t have my potential future kids going through what I’m going through now.”
Jenkins was accepted to a special boarding school for low income familes called Girard College, in north Philadelphia. He says that helped him tremendously! Richard wants to thank the people who invested into that school, his mom, and the haters who called him Harvard. "I couldn't have done this without all of them".
Jenkins plans to study computer science so he can create a more intuitive virtual assistant.