Chicago (CBS) — It’s the Harvard University acceptance video that’s gone viral.
“I think it’s probably one of the best Christmas presents I’ve ever been given,” Amado Candelario said.
But nothing’s been given to Candelario; he’s earned everything.
He said everything’s changed for him since he uploaded the video of him discovering he was accepted to the Ivy League school.
“I wanted to show other kids around this neighborhood or from wherever sort of marginalized neighborhood that they come from that they can do anything they set their minds to,” he said.
Candelario’s mom immigrated from Mexico and raised three kids on the Southwest Side of Chicago as a single parent.
“She worked as a waitress for 15 years to support us,” Candelario said. “We basically lived paycheck to paycheck me and my two sisters.”
The emotional reaction is what draws most to the video, but the future Harvard student hopes it will serve as a road map for others to dream big.
“In terms of what it means for my family, I think it means like ‘si se puede’ or ‘it could always happen’,” Candelario said. “You can do whatever you want to.”
He now joins the small number of people who will ever hear the words “welcome to Harvard”.
“There could be instances in your life that completely change your reality and I think that opening that acceptance letter and uploading that video to social media did exactly that,” Candelario said.