He survived a rough childhood. Now he's graduating with honors and headed to the Ivy League.

Posted at 3:02 PM, May 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-13 21:55:48-04

ETTRICK, Va. -- Seven years after he initially enrolled at Virginia State University, Kyle Jacobs has earned his degree.

The 26-year-old Richmond man's journey from foster care to honors student and college graduate was highlighted by the university.

"Jacobs says throughout his youth, he moved around, was in and out of the foster care, the juvenile detention system, and several abusive environments until he graduated high school," a university spokesperson wrote. "After facing a difficult childhood, the Richmond native began his collegiate journey at Virginia State University in 2015. In 2016, after attending Virginia State University for a year, Jacobs transferred to a larger university where he says he lived in an abandoned house for more than a year because he was unable to obtain student housing. In 2020, he applied for readmission to VSU."

Jacobs is scheduled to graduate Saturday from the VSU College of Agriculture and a member of the Honors College, according to the university.

"This fall, he will pursue a Master’s degree in Sustainability Management from Columbia University in New York City on a full scholarship. He will attend as a part the school’s Professional Studies HBCU Fellows Program," the spokesperson continued. "Jacobs has completed internships and fellowships with companies like Google, Capital One, Microsoft, and IBM. He has won more than $50,000 in scholarships and business competitions, many of which have followed from opportunities provided by the Thurgood Marshall College Fund."

VSU President Dr. Makola Abdullah called Jacob's story "the personification of our mantra ‘Greater Happens Here.’”