18-year-old Richard Jenkins had the odds stacked against him. As a youth, Jenkins was bullied for his intelligence. It's funny how being less intelligent is "cooler" than being smart in elementary school. Still, Jenkins kept his nose in his books. Raised in Philadelphia, Jenkins and his family dealt with poverty, and he even spent two years homeless after his mother's home was foreclosed on. It was during his time in shelters that Jenkins realized that his intelligence could help him build a new life. 

According to CNNafter Jenkins and his family spent two years bouncing around Tennesee and Florida in shelters, they returned to Philadelphia. Quiana McLaughlin, Jenkins mother, encouraged her son to apply for an opening at Girard College for his 11th-grade year. Jenkins did as his mother suggested, and was accepted into the program. While at Girard, the young intellect joined the World Affairs Council, the basketball team, and the mock trial program. He also created the Makers' Space Club, which is an area with 3D printers, sewing machines, and other DIY equipment for students to bring their imagination to life. Once it was time to apply for colleges, Jenkins (who also suffered from migraines that landed him in the hospital) applied to several prestigious schools. After being wait-listen by Penn State and denied by Yale, Jenkins was granted acceptance to Harvard. He will be graduating high school next month, and plans to study computer science with a special interest in artificial intelligence when he reaches the university. It's always magnificent to hear a happy ending. Stay in school.