20-year-old Chicago native accepted into Harvard Ph.D. program
Chicago resident Octavious Talbot spent most of his life in an overcrowded home on the city’s south side. But the 20-year-old’s life drastically changed when he was offered a scholarship to Morehouse College.
Now, the graduate will be a full-time student at Harvard University come fall.
His mother, Briggitte Lovemore, said that life hasn’t always been easy for the family, especially after she lost her job a few years ago.
Talbot remembers how some days he couldn’t get to his private Catholic school – Marian Catholic High School – because they couldn’t afford the gas from the city to the south suburbs. He would take zeros for assignments he could have gotten an A or B on, he said. Once the family’s car was taken away, Talbot said things went from bad to worse.
“I had to try to find a ride to school and then getting back was a struggle,” Talbot said. “I would be up there for 10 hours watching YouTube videos and doing my homework until I finally found a ride.” Eventually the high school’s tuition was just too much, Lovemore said, so she had to pull Talbot, her youngest of seven children, out of the school and homeschool him during his last year.
At 16, Talbot started taking courses at a community college, while doing schoolwork given to him by his mother. His plans to return to Joliet Junior College changed when he got accepted into Morehouse. He was offered a scholarship that covered his tuition.
On Sunday, Talbot received his B.S. in Mathematics, and graduated with a cumulative GPA of 3.87.
Talbot has also worked on research projects through Arizona State University and the University of Hawaii at Hilo. He plans to work in public health, and use statistics to solve “real world situations.”
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