When David Boone attends Harvard University in the fall, he will finally have a place to live.
Boone is a homeless Cleveland student who earned a full scholarship to arguably the most prestigious university in the world. Boone somehow managed to get great grades while sleeping on benches in parks that were often populated with prostitutes, pimps and drug pushers. He survived the merciless winters and, equally astounding, he also somehow avoid the tremendous pressure to join one of the many local street gangs that populate his neighborhood.
Boone’s family split up after his eight grade year and he has lived on and off the streets for the past four years. In the end, Boone applied to 23 colleges and was accepted to 22 of them, including Ivy League powerhouses such as Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brown and the University of Pennsylvania. According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Boone was such a spectacular scholastic performer despite enduring the most adverse circumstances that, as a student at MC2STEM High School, he earned a Gates Millennium Scholarship, which will cover the whatever college costs that is not already being taken care of by his current financial aid.
David Boone had a system.
There wasn’t much the then-15-year-old could do about the hookers or drug deals around him when he slept in Artha Woods Park. And the spectator’s bench at the park’s baseball diamondwasn’t much of a bed.
But the aspiring engineer, now 18 and headed to Harvard University in the fall, had no regular home. Though friends, relatives and school employees often put him up, there were nights when David had no place to go, other than the park off Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.
So he says he made the best of those nights on the wooden bench.
His book bag became his pillow, stuffed with textbooks first — for height, he says — and papers on top for padding.
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