Although his study books doubled as pillows when he spend his nights on park benches, David Boone was determined to stay focused. The now 18-year old Cleveland student spent many years bouncing from house to house, between friends and family after gang violence split his own family apart in the summer after his 8th grade year. When times were particularly hard, he slept on park benches and used his book bag as a pillow.
The same gangs that destroyed his family life threaded to destroy him, but David was unwavering in his goal to stay away. When the time came, David applied for many top-level high schools and was accepted into MC2STEM High School, which focuses in science, technology and engineering, all things David has loved since he was young. He can recall being 6 and taking apart the family TV and then putting it back together. The intense program prepared David and helped keep him focused on his goals instead of his circumstances.
David would get into school at 5 a.m. to do school work and MC2STEM Principal Jeff McClellan soon found out that David was not only coming in early to study, but also because he had no where else to go. “My wife and I talked it over and said that we can’t do everything for everybody. But we could help him. It was just the right thing to do. He needed somewhere to go,” Principal McClellan said about taking David in. David lived with the Principal and his wife for part of 10th and 11th grade.
David’s story doesn’t end there. Because of his hard work he has been accepted into 22 out of 23 colleges that he has applied for, including Yale, Brown, Penn State and Princeton. He turned them all down to attend Harvard University. He will also receive a Gates Millennium Scholarship that will cover all college costs that other financial aid doesn’t.
With the help of good people and his focus, David is sure to be a success and inspiration. “It wasn’t all easy,” David said. “It wasn’t all fun and games. It was a lot of hard work and I just made it happen.”