Life may sometimes stack the cards against you, but a teen from New Jersey is proving that it can never stop you from going for your dreams.
17-year-old Dylan Chidick has had challenging times during his childhood. He and his family moved to the U.S. from Trinidad when he was seven years old, and his two younger brothers were both diagnosed with serious heart conditions which would require surgery.
His family was homeless several times, a potentially devastating development in the growth of a young man, but Chidick never gave up the fight for his dreams and his perseverance is now paying off:
Dylan has been accepted into 17 colleges.
These college acceptances sent Dylan a powerful message:
"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."
Chidick is also Senior Class President at Henry Snyder High School and was inducted into the National Honors Society.
Dylan has been inspired to achieve by his mother, who had the courage to ask for help from charity "Women Rising," when things became difficult:
"Making herself vulnerable and putting herself out there, that made me determined to never let us get back in that situation again."
The organization has provided the Chidicks with permanent, supportive housing, which gives Dylan a safe place to study and focus his attention on choices for the future.
Roseann Mazzeo, executive director for Women Rising, commented to WLNY:
"She is a great example in doing everything necessary to help her children."
Twitter was incredibly impressed by Chidick's work ethic:
Dylan is still waiting from one last college, his favorite:
"The College of New Jersey. I haven't heard back yet, but that is my top school right now."
Wherever he ends up, Chidick plans on studying Political Science, and we're sure he's going to do a phenomenal job!