Son of a farmer raised in poverty receives full scholarship to study in Harvard—receives admission to other Ivy League universities through pure hard work and determination


Romnick L. Blanco was born and bred in a rural area within the province of Bulacan in the Philippines. The son of a dedicated and hardworking farmer who wanted nothing less than to see his children excel in their studies, Romnick was determined to fulfill his father’s wishes.

Living in the foothills of the Sierra Madre, he needed to walk for miles and cross a river just to get to school. Despite these harsh conditions, he never skipped school and always showed great interest and participation during class. Soon, he was excelling in every subject.

This was how Romnick used to go to school everyday. 

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Romnick and his parents.

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In 2011, Romnick was sponsored by a local charity foundation called GreenEarth Heritage that aims to aid impoverished farmers’ children by giving them access to English lessons and computer literacy classes. They also assisted with the ancillary costs of public school education.

Romnick’s light soon began to shine. The foundation awarded Romnick a full scholarship to attend International School Manila, one of the most prestigious schools in the country, where he graduated in 2017 with top honors.

From poverty to Harvard!

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This was when Romnick began to catch the attention of a few Ivy League universities who offered him full scholarships. Romnick had a few options on hand like Dartmouth College, Wesleyan University and NYU at Abu Dhabi. In the end, he chose to accept the full scholarship offer from Harvard.

Having graduated from high school in 2017, Romnick decided to take a gap year to explore the world. But this humble boy never forgot his roots. To date, Romnick has planted over 1,500 trees at his father’s farm, a wonderful addition since his childhood days.

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He hopes that more farmers’ children would be given the same opportunities as he did in their education pursuits. Romnick says, “I truly believe that what happened to me was nothing short of a miracle.”

Source: Elite Readers


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