Richard Jenkins has given young students dealing with adversity a role model, and inspiration to continue with their schoolwork. The 18-year-old was formerly a resident of a homeless shelter and dealt with other obstacles during his childhood and adolescent years. Now, thanks to dedication, perseverance, and brain power, he'll be attending Harvard University. Not only will he be attending the school, but it will be on a full scholarship.

Jenkins' early struggles

During his school days, Richard Jenkins was the kid who raised his hand to answer questions a lot, due to being of a studious nature. That didn't sit well with the bullies in his class as they dubbed him "Harvard" as a way to try to taunt him.

Ironically, that taunt ended up being a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy that his classmates gave him.

Not only was Jenkins harassed by bullies, he also dealt with medical emergencies and conditions of poverty. According to CNN, he and his two younger brothers lived in a homeless shelter for some time. Jenkins was a resident there during the sixth grade after his mother foreclosed on her home. The family moved from state to state, ultimately ending up in Philadelphia.

Inspired to succeed

The 2006 biographical film, "The Pursuit of Happyness" featured actor Will Smith taking on the role of Chris Gardner.

During the movie based on Gardner's life, viewers watched as he struggled with being homeless while trying to make it as a salesman and support he and his son. Gardner was able to face tough circumstances dealing with poverty while trying to get clients and win over important connections. In a movie spoiler alert, that perseverance ultimately saw Gardner get past his "rock bottom" to become a highly-successful salesman who started his own brokerage firm.

The "rock bottom" nature of Richard Jenkins' impoverished situation inspired him too. He decided to continue his pursuit of academics, rather than wallow in despair because he felt he needed a way out of these tough circumstances. Jenkins managed to continue his studies despite dealing with severe migraines which required him to be hospitalized during the early part of high school.

He had a genuine passion for technology and allowed his curiosity for learning to take over. That eventually led to opportunities in the 11th grade including his membership with the mock trial and basketball teams.

In addition, he created a new club known as the "Makers' Space Club" to allow students to build with their creativity.

Jenkins to attend Harvard

When it came time for Richard Jenkins to apply to colleges, he received an email from Harvard and decided to send an application there, along with other Ivy League schools including Yale and Penn. Jenkins would ultimately learn his status with all of those schools. While Yale denied him, Penn had him on their waiting list. However, the other Ivy League school, which was associated with the early nickname bullies used against him, is the one that accepted him.

Jenkins said he was surprised when he saw that "Welcome" announcement from Harvard but upon calling his mother she probably said, "I told you so." His mother knew that Richard had what it took to gain entry into one of the nation's top schools.

The former homeless boy who was taunted, overcame migraines, and developed an interest in technology will officially be part of the Harvard University Class of 2022. The high school valedictorian will receive a full scholarship and has a GoFundMe campaign his godfather created to help him purchase clothes and school supplies. He'll continue his pursuit of academics, with a plan to study computer science and focus on the future technology of artificial intelligence.

Richard Jenkins has advised other students to never give up despite the struggles and pitfalls they may face, saying: "stick to the plan." In a story of a student which seems much like the movie "The Pursuit of Happyness," Jenkins clearly showed that adversity, a zest for learning, and hard work can help one rise from a seemingly impossible set of life situations.