PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Philadelphia high school student has overcome significant challenges to be among the best of the Class of 2021. With the help of others, she has been accepted into more than 50 colleges.
Eighteen-year-old Destiny Jackson’s smile is infectious. Her positive energy permeates the room. This soon-to-be Belmont High School graduate has every reason to be giddy.READ MORE: Crash Involving SEPTA Bus, 4 Vehicles In Philadelphia's Cobbs Creek Neighborhood
“I’ve been accepted to approximately 56 colleges around the United States,” Jackson said.
Jackson has chosen Spelman College in Atlanta and will be one of the elite incoming freshmen, but the road to this accomplishment hasn’t been easy.
“I’ve been in foster care system for my second time since the age of 13,” she said. “I’ve been homeless for three years. Oh wow, it’s been a lot. Thank God to my support system and the community. They have helped me along the way and been by my side.”
For the past four years, Jackson has found a safe haven at the nonprofit New Options More Opportunities in North Philadelphia. It assists at-risk youth and has provided her with many resources along the way that’s leading to many accolades.
Add another accomplishment to the list. Philadelphia City Council named Jackson its champion of the week, creating an ordinance in her honor.READ MORE: Woman Facing Arson Charges After Allegedly Intentionally Setting Fire At Howard Johnson Hotel In Blackwood
Jackson has started a GoFundMe page to help compensate for the tuition needed for college. Being in foster care limits her ability to apply for student loans without the permanent guardianship often needed.
This determined student isn’t deterred by the uphill financial battle. Her young life exemplifies overcoming struggles.
Her goal one day?
“I will be double-majoring in political science on a pre-law trek and communications in media,” she said, “with the long-term goal to run for president when I turn 35.”
The sky is the limit for this West Philadelphia teen, even her name Destiny foreshadows a future filled with success.MORE NEWS: Taste With Tori: Wake Coffee Roasters' Unique Way Of Selling Coffee Makes All Extra Happy In Morning
“Stay confident,” she said. “Self-confidence is the best confidence. No matter what life throws at you, you will always be strong. You have to believe in yourself and then other people will follow.”