Tag: homeless teen

Fred Barley, 19, Bikes 6 Hours to Get to College, Sleeps in Tent Until Helped by Police and Community

Fred Barley (photo via wsbtv.com)
Fred Barley (photo via wsbtv.com)

article by Hope Jensen via wsbtv.com

At just 19 years old, Fred Barley has proven he knows what he wants out of life and he’ll do anything to make it happen.  Officers found the teen sleeping in a tent over the weekend outside Gordon State College in Barnesville, GA. Instead of giving him a ticket for trespassing, the officers listened to his story – and that’s where this amazing story begins.

Barley, a homeless college student, told the officers he had ridden his little brother’s bike six hours from Conyers to Barnesville to register for classes for his second semester of college. He had two duffel bags carrying all he owned and 2 gallons of water as he rode through the heat of a Georgia summer.

Problem is, the Gordon State College campus dorms don’t open until August, so Barley pitched a tent in some bushes on campus and prepared to spend the next few weeks there, with nothing more than a box of cereal to eat.

Barley spent the day job-searching and had just returned to his tent Saturday night when officers responded to a  report of someone sleeping in a tent on campus. They told Barley to come out with his hands up, but the officers quickly realized that something wasn’t right. They sat down with Barley, who told them his story.

The biology major, who dreams of going to medical school one day, told the officers he thought the bushes on campus would be a much safer place for him to sleep than staying in his tent in Conyers. “We can’t allow you to stay here, but I have somewhere you can stay.”

“He was so understanding and he said, ‘I definitely I applaud you for doing this. We can’t allow you to stay here, but I have somewhere you can stay,’” Barley told Channel 2 Action News.

Without a second thought, the officers took him to a local motel and paid for his next two nights.  “The stuff that’s happening with police officers, I am black and he didn’t care what color I was. He just helped me, and that meant a lot,” Barley said.

That could be the end of this story, but it was only just the beginning. Continue reading “Fred Barley, 19, Bikes 6 Hours to Get to College, Sleeps in Tent Until Helped by Police and Community”

Homeless Teen Ramesha Melson Earns Full Scholarship to Georgetown University

Rashema Melson

Rashema Melson, an Anacostia High School senior and resident of Washington D.C.’s largest homeless shelter, just earned a scholarship to Georgetown University.

“I feel accomplished,” she tells us. “I feel I did something worthy. I feel like I did it. But I’m not done yet.”

What makes Rashema’s story all the more remarkable is when you consider where she comes from. For the past two years, Rashema, her mother and two siblings have been living at the D.C. homeless shelter.

“It’s pushing me to be better, to know what I want in life, and to know this is not what I want, but I have to go through it for the moment,” she said.

RELATED STORIES: 

“She is definitely a success story,” said Dora Taylor, a spokesperson with the D.C. Department of Human Services. “She definitely is.”

The department oversees the shelter.

“As you can see, she has no complaints,” said Taylor. “Nothing depresses her. Seemingly nothing brings her down. And she has the right attitude. You know, she expressed to you that she’s grateful despite her circumstances.” “And she’s determined that she’s going to do you know exactly what she needs to do in life to be self-supportive on her own. So we are extremely proud of Rashema.” “I think the toughest part is just moving around before we got to the shelter,” said Rashema. “Because it’s been going on for six years.”

Continue reading “Homeless Teen Ramesha Melson Earns Full Scholarship to Georgetown University”

Homeless High School Teen Chelesa Fearce Graduates As Valedictorian & Will Enter Spelman As Junior

chelesa fearce

Chelesa Fearce is a shining example of a student that didn’t let obstacles get in her way when it came to her education. You see, during most of Chelesa’s high school career she was homeless and living in her mother’s car.  Chelesa, a senior at Charles Drew High School in Clayton County, Georgia, knew that her hard work would pay off, despite the obstacles presented to her.

“I just told myself to keep working, because the future will not be like this anymore,” Fearce said. “You’re worried about your home life and then worried at school. Worry about being a little hungry sometimes, go hungry sometimes. You just have to deal with is. You eat what you can, when you can.”

Although her family occasionally lived in an apartment, because of her mother’s lay-offs, they took refuge in shelters.  “Ended up back in another shelter because I got laid off from my job maybe about four or five times,” Fearce’s mother, Reenita Shephard said.  “I just did what I had to do,” Fearce said.

None of that stopped Chelesa from achieving a 4.466 GPA and a 1900 SAT score. On top of her regular high school course load, Chelesa was able to enroll in college courses during her last two years of high school. When she enters Spelman in the fall, she will do so as a college junior.  Brains apparently run in the family. Chelesa’s sister is graduating from George Washington Carver High School as a salutatorian.

“I read to them a lot. Everything was a learning experience,” Shephard said.  “Don’t give up. Do what you have to do right now so that you can have the future that you want,” Chelesa said.

Related Stories:  

article by Yesha Callahan via clutchmagonline.com

From Homeless to College Grad: Story of Joshua Williams Inspires

Bethune-Cookman University graduating senior Joshua Williams walks recently over the International Speedway bridge as he did when he was homeless and used to walk it all night long.
DAYTONA BEACH — As the lights went out and his fellow students settled into their dorms, Joshua Williams would store two duffel bags of belongings in a friend’s room and disappear into the darkness.

He would leave the secure surroundings of the Bethune-Cookman University campus and head across the International Speedway Boulevard bridge and walk, sometimes all night. In the early morning hours, he would sneak into the lobby at the Bronson Hall dorm and sleep a few hours on a couch as if he lived there.

“I would go down to the beach sometimes,” he recalled. “Sometimes I would just take any direction and get lost and try to find my way back — I would just walk.”

Williams, 23, who is graduated last Saturday with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, was homeless for most of his first three years at the school but too proud to tell anyone.

But just like on his nightly walks, he always found his way. He survived on handouts, slept in empty trucks or on a couch at the apartments of classmates who thought he just didn’t want to go home after a late-night study session.

Remembering the poverty, drug dealers and random shootings he’d seen growing up near Miami, he knew he was on the right path. At school, he would find family, a sense of purpose and even win the title of Mr. Bethune-Cookman University and become the first student to organize a scholarship — but first he had to find a place to sleep.

“Before the sun comes up, I would make sure I was somewhere to lay down,” Williams remembered. “I knew I was homeless, but I said to myself I’d rather be in Daytona homeless trying to go to school than ever go back to Miami.”

NO PLACE TO LIVE

Williams arrived at B-CU in the fall of 2008 with $3,000 he saved from working at a gas station in Miami. He knew it wasn’t enough but felt confident.  Then he found out tuition, room and board ran about $10,000 a semester.  Williams wasn’t about to let that stop him.

Continue reading “From Homeless to College Grad: Story of Joshua Williams Inspires”

Homeless Teen Drew Gooch Earns Full Scholarship To College in Tennessee

Drew Gooch, 17, is homeless student that is graduating at the top of his class and a full ride to Middle Tennessee State University.
Drew Gooch, 17, is a homeless student who is graduating at the top of his class and earning a full ride to Middle Tennessee State University.
There are plenty of students that have problems to contend with at home that no one knows about. These brave soldiers still get up every morning and go to school to get some relief from their situation and try hard to focus.

Drew Gooch is a high school senior that was living in his 1997 Toyota Camry because his mother’s live-in boyfriend is a registered sex offender which prevented him from legally living with her. He has had an uphill struggle to survive, but managed to earn a full scholarship to Middle Tennessee State University, along with the Bootstrap Scholarship, a scholarship for “hardworking students who overcame odds to excel in their classes,” as well as a Martin Luther King Jr. scholarship.

He doesn’t mention much about his mom in his story, but talks about how he has taken care of himself buying his own groceries and washing his clothes and simply fending for himself, according to the Daily News Journal.  He told Nashville’s News 2 how he had been taking care of himself for as long as he can remember.  It wasn’t the first time Gooch was alone, though…he remembers being ages six and seven, and not having anyone around to do things like make meals.  ”I’ve always taken care of myself,” he said.”

To survive, he would stay with an older sister or friends, he’d stay in the library until it closed, slept in his car behind Embassy Suites, and provided a donut to teachers that would agree to work with him on his studies a half an hour before school started at Holloway High School.  The 17-year-old is obviously mature beyond his years and his principal believes he’s a godsend:

“Drew is every teacher and every principal’s dream,” said Holloway High School principal Sumatra Drayton. “I know Drew will be back here, speaking at graduation. Drew will be back here mentoring students and being a model.”  Gooch has a job at McDonald’s and he is the valedictorian of his graduating class with a 3.9 GPA.  This is a story of perseverance and dedication to education that every child should read.  Gooch wants other students to know:  “Take what life gives you. Don’t give up. Don’t sell yourself short. The only person who can decide who you can be is you,” Gooch said. “That’s what I tell myself when I look in the mirror every morning.”  To see video of Drew and his story, click here.

article via eurthisnthat.com