Dreams do come true, as is the case for teen James Ward. The 19-year-old Los Angeles native will fulfill his dream of attending Howard University beginning this fall. Since he was 14-years old Ward, his mother and two younger siblings have been homeless, living with relatives and shelters and occasionally in his mom’s car and ultimately settling at a rescue mission shelter on Skid Row since last year. Despite attending three schools in four years, James managed to keep his grades up and graduated this June. Last week, with the help of his a mentor, he launched “Homeless to Harvard” raising $12,000 towards tuition not covered by the grants and loans he received. Rapper Common and education organization ‘Teach For America’ shared his link via Twitter. Ward is completely honored and blown away by the generosity explaining:
It’s surreal. I can’t believe after everything that’s happened I’m going to be leaving to attend Howard. I would’ve never thought that something we started just a couple of days ago would’ve turned out to become this massive However, it makes me feel very happy because I know that although the world may seem like a harsh and cold place, there are some people out there that care and want to give to those in need. In the past years, life has been very hectic. We had a lot of ups and downs, but through it all, I’ve always managed to keep my grades up and help my younger brother and sister do the same and keep them on the right track as well as myself.
I want to be an astrophysicist or a genetic engineer,I’m not sure which route I’m going to go, but I know it’s one of those two. Science has always been one of the biggest parts of my life.I’m following my dreams, but it was never about me. It was always about my younger brother and sister learning that education is what they need, because as long as you have knowledge, no one can ever take it from you.
Ward will be the first in his family to attend college. His mother is planning to enter college to pursue a undergradate degree in the Spring and his sister, 14 and brother, 7 will be enrolled in his school as well. He, his mother, and sister could possibly graduate in 2017. James leaves later this week to start his freshman year.
[Tumblr, Huffington Post]