VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – 22-year-old John Paul Hipolito said he did not have enough money for a car so for years he rode his bike to college in the heat, rain and once in the snow all while trying to avoid being hit by cars.
He rode 10 miles round trip from home to college at ECPI University. Depending on if he had to work on campus, he did this five to six times a week.
“At first it was a bit harsh, but I got used to it,” said Hipolito, “Going home was a bit harder after a long days work.”
Hipolito said he was born in the United States, but then moved to the Philippines for 16 years. He moved to Virginia Beach in 11th grade then went to ECPI.
He is now pedaling towards his Master’s degree in Cybersecurity.
For years, he said he couldn’t afford a car but has recently saved money from his current job.
“I was like who is this kid riding a bike through the back of the parking lot every single day and carrying stuff,” said Scott Gibson, the Computer and Information Science Director ECPI University.
Hipolito’s professors said they were amazed by his dedication.
“It’s amazing that a student as quiet as John Paul and noticed his attitude his work commitment and stuff like that it’s just amazing,” said Joseph Blow, Assistant Director Computer and Information Science ECPI.
They said he is also extremely punctual.
“It’s funny that a guy on a bike can get here quicker than people with cars, that’s kind of amazing,” said Blow.
“Dedication, determination and drive, a lot of personality traits that you don’t see in a lot of people. Somebody just doing what they need to get done, to me it’s a matter of how much drive and how bad you want it,” said Gibson.
Now there’s an effort by a former student to raise money to help Hipolito buy a car. He’s working to try and get his mother a visa to get in the country. She is still in the Philippines and they have been separated for almost seven years.