- Dylan Chidick, a 17-year-old from Jersey City, New Jersey, has been accepted into 17 colleges.
- He and his family went through bouts of homelessness throughout his childhood and were placed in permanent housing in July 2017.
- Chidick credited his single mother for inspiring him to be the first in his family to go to college.
- He said he is still waiting to hear from his top choice school, College of New Jersey.
A New Jersey teenager who was in and out of homelessness throughout his childhood has been accepted into 17 colleges.
Among the schools 17-year-old Dylan Chidick, of Jersey City, New Jersey, has been accepted into are Albright College, Ramapo College and Caldwell University, according to CNN. And he is still waiting to hear from his top choice, College of New Jersey.
“I wasn’t really sure if I wasn’t going to get into college because I don’s have the perfect grades or perfect GPA or perfect SAT score,” Chidick, who will be the first in his family to go to college, told NorthJersey.com. “But I knew that when college admissions read my essay and see me as a whole person, I’d be OK.”
Chidick moved to the US from Trinidad with his mother and younger twin brothers when he was 7 years old.
They were in and out of homelessness throughout Chidick’s childhood, and were put into a permanent supportive housing center by the non-profit Women Rising in July 2017.
Chidick said he was inspired to apply to college by the strength of his mother, Khadine Phillip, who raised him and his two younger brothers.
“Seeing my family become vulnerable and opening themselves up to accepting help is basically what created my drive to never experience that ever again,” Chidick told CNN.
He was initially afraid to admit to his school that he was going through periods of homelessness, but once he did, the staff was “very supportive,” Chidick told CNN.
As a senior at Henry Snyder High School in Jersey City, Chidick was elected senior class president and inducted into the Honour Society.
Because of his family’s economic status, the fees for college applications were waived.
He decided not to write about his homelessness in college essays, and instead wrote about racism.
In college, Chidick hopes to study political science and history.
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