Dylan Chidick has a choice to make, and it’s arguably the best choice he’s ever had. Which of the 17 colleges that accepted his application will he attend to study for his degree? Chidick will be the first person in his family to ever attend college, and his is a family that has had their fair share of experiences. Including homelessness.
Despite dealing with homelessness throughout his life, 17-year-old Dylan Chidick now has his choice of colleges to pick from after receiving 17 acceptance letters https://t.co/ejlOpp0IuH pic.twitter.com/jfcl7k5OdI
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 13, 2019
Chidick moved to New Jersey from Trinidad at the tender age of 7, and is no stranger to adversity. Indeed, the now-17-year-old has even endured homelessness on more than several occasions, but has since made the decision to do what he can to turn his life around. CBS News told his story.
After entering the United States, Chidick became a U.S. citizen, but the struggle for his family to achieve stability didn’t end there. Khadine Phillip, Chidick’s mom (who is also a single parent), shared the family’s story candidly. “It has been hard financially,” she admitted. “We have been homeless.” However Chidick has nothing but respect for the heartache that his mom has endured: “Making herself vulnerable and putting herself out there,” he said, “that made me determined to never let us get back in that situation again.”
thank you for this opportunity! CBS New York & to answer everyone's question, yes I WAS homeless, and I am not going to let that part of my life define me. it has made me and my family become stronger! <3
The non-profit organization Women Rising provided the family with a permanent, stable roof over their heads, and perhaps most beneficial to Chidick, a quiet and safe place to study. “She is a great example in doing everything necessary to help her children,” said Executive Director Roseann Mazzeo, full of praise for Chidick’s tireless mom.
“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,'” said Chidick, opening up. Besides residential and financial struggles, both of Chidick’s younger twin brothers live with chronic heart conditions, and the strain of poor health has been felt by the whole family. Chidick’s decision to apply to college is for everybody’s benefit.
“Me—getting these acceptances—kind of verifies what I have been saying. I can do it and I will do it,” Chidick shared. “The dream I want to achieve, I have to have a lot of determination.” That powerful “D” word has become something of a mantra for the ambitious young man, and now stands him in great stead for a bright and fruitful college career.
The Henry Snyder High School student is already well on the way, having worked his way up to senior class president and also being inducted into the honor society. Both accolades provided the icing on the cake of an already impressive academic résumé.
I got accepted to 5 more colleges this week, including New Jersey City University w/ scholarships. I CAN FINALLY…
Chidick lovingly cites his mom’s courage in asking for help as his main inspiration. It may also be the source of his lustrous ambition. The college-bound teen has his mom’s unyielding love and support now more so than ever, and his entry into the realms of further education will make the entire family extremely proud.
Among others, Chidick applied to The College of New Jersey. “I haven’t heard back yet,” he shared, “but that is my top school right now.” Ambition is in plentiful supply, but the family are still enduring hard times, financially speaking. As such, Chidick’s college application fees were waived.
Chidick revealed that he wants to study political science. The future looks bright for this determined young man and his tight-knit family.