After This Harvard-Bound Teen's Family Became Homeless, He Helped Them Buy A House

"Instead of breaking down and crying like I should, because they were quite traumatic experiences, I just look at it … and look forward."

When high school senior Jorge Campos was only 13 years old, his father, an automative technician, lost his job. For three months, the Campos family of six was homeless, traveling between relatives' homes, hotels, and the family van. 

All the while, Campos took college-level courses at Los Angeles Community College, which taught him a valuable and life-changing lesson about money.

"I took on the budget. I took on all the finances," Campos told KTLA, a news channel in Los Angeles. "All the bills that are paid at home run through me."

Eventually, all that savvy saving paid off.

"I took over my parents' finances, under budgeting, and now two years later, we purchased our home," Campos explained. The family's new home was in Palmdale, meaning Campos had to travel 140 miles round trip for school every day. 

Jorge was unable to transfer schools because he was offered a unique and unparalleled education at the University of Southern California campus in Exposition Park in South L.A., where he'd grown up. Through a federally-funded program called TRIO Upward Bound Math and Science, the university is able to support low-income, first-generation and minority students. He was invited to participate in the program during his freshman year of high school.

Despite the distance, Campos was committed to finishing his high school’s program, even when that meant not getting home until 11 p.m. or midnight and waking up at five a.m. the next morning.

Again, according to KTLA, his determination has paid off — this time in the form of a full scholarship to Harvard. There, Campos plans to study economics, naturally.

As he plans for the next stage in his young life, Campos reflected on everything he'd already overcome. "Instead of breaking down and crying like I should, because they were quite traumatic experiences, I just look at it … and look forward," he said. 

"Always keep in mind where you’re going…" Campos told KTLA. "Because it’s not where you are that matters, but where you want to be."

Cover image via Shutterstock /  Jon Bilous.

A Plus has reached out to Jorge Campos.

(H/T: HuffPost)

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