JERSEY CITY, NJ (WCBS/CNN) - A determined New Jersey teenager who overcame homelessness and poverty will be the first in his family to go to college. 

Now, the big question is: Which one? 

Dylan Chidick has been accepted to 17 colleges and is still waiting to hear back from his first-choice school, The College of New Jersey.

"I have a lot of determination," he said. "There's been a lot of people saying, 'You're not going to achieve this.' Getting these acceptance letters verifies what I have been saying: I can do it and I will do it."

After moving from Trinidad at 7 years old and becoming a U.S. citizen, Chidick and his family went through countless heartaches. His younger twin brothers have serious heart conditions, and the family has been in and out of homelessness.

Dylan Chidick brothers

But those obstacles never stopped the Jersey City student from setting his goals high and reaching them. He became the senior class president at Henry Snyder High School and was inducted into the honor society. 

Chidick said it was his mother's courage to ask for help from the non-profit Women Rising that pushed him to achieve.

"Putting herself out there like that, that made me more determined to never let us get back in that situation again," he said. 

Roseann Mazzeo of Women Rising echoed the same sentiments.

Dylan Chidick and mom

"She is a great example in doing all that's necessary to help her children," said Mazzeo. 

Among many things, Women Rising has put the family in permanent supportive housing, giving Dylan a safe place to study while awaiting his last acceptance letter. 

When the 17-year-old decides which college he will attend, he says he plans to study political science.

Because of his family’s financial situation, all of Chidick’s application fees were waived.

TM & © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.


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