Yet another young student from Chicago is proving that with enough hard work and proper guidance, it is possible to excel in school.
Octavious Talbot just turned 20 in March, but he has already graduated with a GPA of 3.87 from Morehouse College.
Now that he has earned his Bachelor of Science in mathematics, Talbot is now headed to Harvard University to pursue his doctorate in biostatistics.
Talbot grew up in an overcrowded home in Southeast Chicago where just getting through high school proved to be an incredible challenge.
While he usually excelled in the classroom, it soon became difficult for him to get transportation between his home and the private Catholic school he attended – his mother wasn’t able to afford the gas for her car and finding a ride was nearly impossible on most days.
After a while, the family car was taken away and traveling to school became an even greater obstacle for the young teen.
“I had to try to find a ride to school and then getting back was a struggle,” Talbot told the Chicago Defender. “I would be up there for 10 hours watching YouTube videos and doing my homework until I finally found a ride.”
On some days, Talbot had to skip school completely and earned failing grades on assignments that he would have been able to perform well on.
Eventually, his situation took a turn for the worse and his mother was no longer able to afford the private school’s tuition.
His mother still refused to let his education suffer.
During his senior year of high school, Talbot’s mother, Briggitte Lovemore, began homeschooling him.
At 16, he also started taking courses at the local community college.
While Talbot had plans to return to the community college, it seemed that there were greater plans in store for the determined student.
Morehouse offered Talbot a scholarship that would completely cover the cost of his tuition.
While attending Morehouse, Talbot was encouraged to apply to Harvard through the mathematics department and the John H. Hopps Scholars Program.
Initially, he hadn’t considered Harvard for graduate school, but he decided to take a chance anyway. It turned into the opportunity of a lifetime.
After fighting against all odds to complete high school in Chicago and excelling during his time at Morehouse in Atlanta, Talbot is now headed to the Ivy League school in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
“It’ll definitely be culture shock, but I’m excited about learning how to apply my skills in the real world,” he said.
His mother is equally as thrilled, adding that education was always her main concern while raising her seven children.
“It’s all about education,” she said. “My main role in raising my children was the educational portion of it.”
Talbot hopes to start a flourishing career in public health where he can apply statistics to “real world situations.”