Richard Jenkins, III, nineteen years old, is headed to Harvard. That would have been an improbable statement a half dozen years ago when Richard and his family lived in a homeless shelter in Philadelphia. All told, the family was homeless for two years.

As CNN reported , Richard remembers living in a shelter during the sixth grade and realizing academics could become his way out. As Richard put it, “That was what triggered me that I needed to chase something…No matter what, I can’t allow myself to go through that anymore. I can’t allow my brother or my mother to go through that when they’re older.”

That insight led Richard to applying himself in school. He raised his hand so much in the classroom that other kids called him “Harvard.” He earned excellent grades despite suffering severe migraines that put him in the hospital his high school freshman year.

The story doesn’t end with Richard’s Harvard acceptance and full-ride offer. Richard’s godfather, Donald Kinsey, Jr., created a GoFundMe page to pay the cost of Richard’s living expenses and to buy him a computer. As of the morning of June 16, 964 people (I’m sure mostly strangers) had given $42,000—the goal had been $40,000. By the time I finished reading about Richard, number 965 had donated as well—moi.

As I often say, education is the great leveler: it’s the one sure-fire way for a human to lift themselves out of poverty or distress. We need to support anyone who has the insight and persistence to succeed at getting an education.