Richard Kent

Last updated: 2012

Richard Kent

2012 Beat the Odds Honoree

Richard Kent was born in the small fishing village of Los Cobanos in El Salvador. At the age of twelve, Richard came to the United States to live with an English speaking father whom he barely knew and struggled to communicate with. Moreover, the separation from a mother and sister with whom he was very close was extremely difficult. Though he’d had very little schooling in El

Salvador, Richard was placed in a 6th grade classroom and struggled to learn the English language. Richard acknowledges, “I worked so hard every single day because I felt as if this were my opportunity to become someone in life.” Though he had to repeat the 6th grade, Richard focused on his studies, attended tutoring sessions, and had a successful academic year.

When Richard’s mother, sister, and step-father moved to the United States, the family was separated again when his mother and step-father decided to divorce. Richard’s mother left her children in the care of her ex-husband, and Richard became the primary caregiver for his younger siblings. Though caring for his sisters is a major responsibility, Richard’s college advisor acknowledges he is “one of the top students in the sophomore class at Belmont High School.”

Richard’s determination, work ethic, and maturity have drawn the attention of adults and peers and his community. Richard was selected to serve on Belmont High School’s “Shared Decisions Making Council,” and works with the faculty, staff, administrators and parents to make the best decisions for the Belmont High community. When Richard attends college, he will be the first in his family to do so. Richard is certain that academic achievement is the key to his future success in his life and feels very lucky “to have access to an education.”

Richard currently maintains a 4.6 grade point average.