David Boone literally went from "Homeless to Harvard". Even though his journey parallels a story from a movie of the same name, David Boone definitely worked his way up from a lot. His story is an amazing testimony of faithfulness and his mother Moneeke Davis clearly expresses her gratitude:
"He's so focused, so driven and so humble," Davis said, adding that she is grateful for the people "the Lord put in [David's] path" to help him.
CLEVELAND, Ohio — 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 diamond wasn'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.
In the morning, David would duck into his friend Eric's house after Eric's parents left early for work so he could shower and dress before heading to class at Cleveland's specialized MC2STEM High School. David expects to graduate from there next month as salutatorian of the new school's first graduating class.
"I'd do my homework in a rapid station, usually Tower City since they have heat, and I'd stay wherever I could find," he said. If you meet David Boone today, his gentle, confident demeanor and easygoing laugh betray no cockiness over racking up a college acceptance record that others brag about for him. He was accepted at 22 of the 23 schools he applied to -- including Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Brown and Penn.
He also gives no hint of the often harsh and nomadic life he has led. The medical problems he faced as a boy, a splintered family, being homeless -- it all could have left him bitter and angry.
But David says that giving up would have left him stuck in a dead-end life, so it was never an option.
David has an awesome story, his drive in this situation is rarely found. It teaches a valuable lesson that our background should not hinder us. There is nothing that we put our minds to that we cannot achieve. All the best to David as he goes forward in his education.
*original story reported on Cleveland News.