Temple University gets its first Rhodes Scholar

NORTH PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Hazim Hardeman, a 2017 Temple University grad, became the first student from the school to become a Rhodes Scholar.

"I didn't think something like this would happen to me," said Hardeman.

Of the thousands of nominees, Hardeman is one of 32 winners to receive the prestigious accolade.

"I'm the first person in my family to go to college. I'm the second generation literate in my family," he said. "So the trajectory has been incredible and inconceivable in many ways. I am confident in myself, but things like this weren't on my radar."

Raised by a single mother and the youngest of four, Hardeman grew up in North Philadelphia in the area of 23rd and Diamond streets.

A product of Philadelphia Public Schools, he admits that he struggled in high school and didn't have the grades to be admitted to Temple. So instead, he pursued an associates degree from Community College of Philadelphia before becoming an owl.

"I think in any and everything there's a lesson, and that just motivated me to go even harder," said Hardeman. "It also crystalized the fact that educational outcomes are not just about ability."

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