There is a heartwarming story in “The Daily Pennsylvanian” today, the newspaper of the University of Pennsylvania, about a young man who has been homeless for much of his life who earned admission in the Early Decision round to Penn. Regular readers of our college admissions blog might remember that we once helped a homeless student earn admission to one of America’s most highly selective universities — a young man who juggled (literally) to pay for food. He is a young man we will never forget. And this young man featured in today’s “Daily Pennsylvanian,” Johnathan Phillips, a senior at McKinney North High School in Texas, reminds us of him.
As articulated in “The Daily Pennsylvanian” piece about the new UPenn admit, “Phillips has been homeless on and off for months at a time since he was about seven years old. He has lived with friends, in a homeless shelter and sometimes for a few days on the streets. His mother, Deanna Phillips, was unable to work because of an illness and was also undergoing a custody battle for Phillips’ half-sister — some of the circumstances that financially drained their family. ‘We take care of each other. It’s just been kind of our thing,’ Phillips said.”
Phillips was a QuestBridge winner, which means that his tuition for the four years of his University of Pennsylvania education is fully covered. And of course he’ll be offered stable housing too. He is among 50 QuestBridge winners admitted to the University of Pennsylvania in the Early Decision round and we are certain that this young man, who wishes to study political science and chemistry (but also has an aptitude for writing), will bring a wonderful and unique perspective to campus life. We at Ivy Coach salute the University of Pennsylvania for offering this young man admission. But we have a feeling it is the university that should be grateful for he sounds like an amazing young man.