‘They told me I couldn’t do it… but I DID it!’ New Jersey teen who has been homeless for large parts of his life is accepted into SEVENTEEN colleges – and says his tough upbringing gave him the drive to succeed
- Dylan Chidick, 17, moved to the U.S. from Trinidad with his mother at age seven
- Struggled financially looking after him and two siblings with heart conditions
- Finally found a permanent home through nonprofit organisation Women Rising
- Now accepted into Albright College, Ramapo College and Caldwell University
A New Jersey teenager who was in and out of homelessness growing up has been accepted into 17 colleges.
Dylan Chidick, 17, moved to the U.S. from Trinidad with his mother, Khadine Phillip, when he was seven years old.
As a single mother, she struggled financially to look after Dylan and his two younger twin brothers with serious heart conditions, reports CNN.
The family finally found permanent housing after Phillip reached out to Women Rising for help, which Dylan says ‘created my drive to never experience that ever again’.
Now Dylan has to choose where he wants to study political science, after offers from colleges including Albright College, Ramapo College and Caldwell University.
Video courtesy of PIX11
Dylan Chidick, pictured, has been accepted into 17 different colleges across the U.S. – despite being in and out of homelessness
Dylan moved to the U.S. from Trinidad with his mother, Khadine Phillip (pictured together), when he was seven years old
He told CNN: ‘My family went through a lot and there has been a lot of people saying, “you can’t do that”, or “you’re not going to achieve this”, and me — getting these acceptances — kind of verifies what I have been saying. I can do it and I will do it.’
After getting application fee waivers because of his family’s financial situation, Dylan applied to 20 colleges in total – and is still hoping to be accepted by his first choice, the College of New Jersey.
Despite struggling to study because of instability at home, teachers at Henry Snyder High School in Jersey City were very supportive, and Dylan eventually became senior class president and joined the Honor Society.
He added: ‘The entire administration staff was very supportive, but I didn’t want anyone to know about it at first. But I realized it was OK to let people in.’
He said: ‘My family went through a lot and there has been a lot of people saying, “you can’t do that”, or “you’re not going to achieve this”, and me — getting these acceptances — kind of verifies what I have been saying. I can do it and I will do it.’ Pictured: one of his acceptance letters