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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Cleveland High Schooler Writes About Being Accepted to Harvard

Posted By on Thu, May 17, 2012 at 11:32 AM

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You get better jokes out of ridiculous crime stories and anything having to do with Dennis! Kucinich, but it can beat you down. Some good news is in order every once in awhile, which brings us to David Boone, a Cleveland public schools high schooler who was accepted to Harvard.

Boone participated in Minds Matter, a non-profit mentoring and tutoring group that pairs motivated city school kids from low-income families with twentysomething mentors over a three-year program to apply to summer programs, beef up for the SAT, develop their writing and critical thinking skills, and eventually apply to a four-year college.

Over at HuffPo
, Boone wrote about his path from gang-ridden neighborhood to one of the best colleges in the land. The stats for kids herded through Cleveland public schools are not good. Few go to college, fewer finish. Boone not only got into Harvard, but is going on a full ride with a Gates scholarship. So, yeah, this is a pretty good story.

After getting my acceptances, I immediately called my mother and told her the great news. In the middle of her Bible class, she jumped up and down and cried tears of joy. I told her, "It is all beginning to pay off." Still feeling humbled and in shock, I called my high school principal, Mr. McClellan. As he told me how proud he was, I realized just how big this was. It takes a village to raise a child, and there have been so many people who have helped me become who I am.

When I was 14 years old, my family and I lost our home to gang violence. I refused to join the gang, so they retaliated, leaving bullet holes in our house and our family. As a result, my family had to split up because no one had room to take us all in together. My siblings went to stay with a family friend, but I was kind of left to fend for myself. I stayed at friends' houses or sometimes at my grandma's, but she really couldn't afford to take care of me. This was the story of my life for nearly two years before my mom was able to secure us a safe place to live. Even having experienced this hardship, I am still able to enjoy great successes because of some very important people who helped me through.

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