Former homeless Trinidad-born teen Dy­lan Chidick accepted by 17 US universities

By Jesse Ramdeo

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Formerly homeless student Dylan Chidick of Jersey City and his Mother Khadine Phillip.

(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) — He mi­grat­ed from this coun­try at a young age and has been dom­i­nat­ing head­lines in the Unit­ed States af­ter he was ac­cept­ed in­to not one, not two…not even three but 17 uni­ver­si­ties.

At just sev­en years old Dy­lan Chidick, along with his moth­er and younger twin broth­ers, left their home in Point Fortin in hopes of a brighter fu­ture in the Unit­ed States.

How­ev­er, not long af­ter set­tling in New Jer­sey the fam­i­ly be­gan falling on hard times. Dur­ing a Skype in­ter­view with Guardian Me­dia Lim­it­ed Dy­lan ex­plained how chal­leng­ing life had be­come “my fam­i­ly went through a lot, many would look at me and say that I won’t achieve my goals”.

The fam­i­ly’s sit­u­a­tion would then take a sharp turn for the worse when Dy­lan’s younger broth­ers were di­ag­nosed with se­ri­ous heart con­di­tions.

Mount­ing med­ical bills sub­se­quent­ly forced the fam­i­ly in­to pe­ri­ods of home­less­ness. Dy­lan de­scribed the fam­i­ly’s new strug­gle as scary “we lived among dis­abled peo­ple, and oth­ers suf­fer­ing from var­i­ous ill­ness­es, we had to adapt and were forced to com­ply with cer­tain con­di­tions, it was dif­fi­cult for us all but I tried not to show how it af­fect­ed me.”

De­spite the in­sur­mount­able ob­sta­cles Dy­lan and his fam­i­ly faced, he nev­er for­got his dream to achieve. In­stead of hang­ing his head, the Jer­sey City stu­dent be­gan shoul­der­ing some of the load which was weigh­ing his fam­i­ly down heav­i­ly.

“When we lived in the shel­ter I took ad­vanced school so that the next year which is now I would be able to leave school ear­ly. I would get up by 6.30, leave the house by 7.30 then take the train and drop my broth­ers to sum­mer camp, from there I’d go to school from 8.30 to 12.30 and then from 1 to 7 pm I will work at the recre­ation cen­tre. I worked at the pool as a lock­er room at­ten­dant and I ba­si­cal­ly clean up af­ter peo­ple and af­ter that, I’d go home and do my home­work.”

Dy­lan rose to be­come se­nior class pres­i­dent at Hen­ry Sny­der High School, now the 17-year-old son of the soil has got­ten ac­cep­tance let­ters from 17 of the 18 uni­ver­si­ties he ap­plied to.

From a home­less teen en­dur­ing fi­nan­cial strug­gles with his fam­i­ly, Dy­lan is now proof that through de­ter­mi­na­tion and hard work you can ac­com­plish all your goals.

He in­tends to vis­it home lat­er this year, but in the mean­time, he wants stu­dents who may have their backs against the wall to “push through and don’t let your dream out of sight, keep work­ing un­til you’ve ac­com­plished your goals.”

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