EVANS HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: FROM JAMAICA TO PINE HILLS TO HARVARD

Nobody had to tell Evon Thompson to dream big. He was barely potty-trained when he first attended school and only 4 when he took a notebook from his mother’s hands and began writing in it. At 6, he began poking around the disemboweled organs of a chicken to study its anatomy.

And at 13 he landed in Orlando — a shy, skinny, well-mannered kid with no academic transcripts; a kid who had never been on an airplane before and never lived anywhere but the rural hills of Jamaica.

“It was kind of surreal,” he remembers. “After so much time dreaming about it, I couldn’t believe I was actually here.”

Go deeper