One California teen has defied all odds and obtained full-rides to the top universities in the country, with all of the scholarships totaling to nearly $3 million.
Lloyd Chen, 17, had many financial burdens growing up. His mother often dropped him off at school in the mornings and waited all day in the parking lot until he got out, just to save gas.
Now, the suffering is behind him, and he has decided to go to Harvard.
He received full scholarships from Harvard, Yale, MIT, Princeton, Stanford, UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego and UC Davis.
Popular VideoThis young teenage singer was shocked when Keith Urban invited her on stage at his concert. A few moments later, he made her wildest dreams come true.
Chen graduated from Laguna Creek High School with a 4.79 GPA.
But it took a long journey to get to where he is today.
When he and his family arrived in America from South Korea, his father abandoned them, leaving his mother Susie Yin to raise him and his two older sisters.
Due to her autoimmune deficiency, Susie was unable to work, and their money was always extremely tight.
Popular VideoThis young teenage singer was shocked when Keith Urban invited her on stage at his concert. A few moments later, he made her wildest dreams come true:
Lloyd decided to take charge of his life and transfer to Mira Loma High School, 20 miles from his home, so he could enroll in its intensive baccalaureate program.
He then moved to Laguna Creek with his family after his freshman year. Three years later, he was named the school's valedictorian.
In his inspiring speech, he told his peers, "It is your choice to have a fulfilling life."
He credits his high school counselor Alycia Sato with helping him achieve his dreams. After he was accepted into Harvard, he wrote her a letter saying, "This is our success."
Sato said she did not know about his struggles until he was in his senior year and was writing his college application essays.
"I've never met anyone who's had so many things going against them, who's risen above them all," she said.
She said he did not tell her his struggles because "he didn't want anyone to pity him."
In his application essays, he wrote, "Throughout my life, I've learned to grow up without luxuries. I don't need fancy clothes. I don't need expensive SAT classes. I don't even need a father. I have something more valuable than luxuries: the foundation to grow and prosper. My circumstances have not brought me down, but instead, have made me stronger."
He said it has been his dream to attend Harvard since he was eight years old.
Once he completes his undergraduate studies, he plans to go on to earn a masters. The Gates Millennium Scholarship he received means he won't have to pay for tuition, room and board, or book fees throughout his graduate studies.
Lloyd wants to study either economics, psychology or engineering.