There are plenty of students that have problems to contend with at home that no one knows about. These brave soldiers still get up every morning and go to school to get some relief from their situation and try hard to focus.
Drew Gooch is a high school senior that was living in his 1997 Toyota Camry because his mother’s live-in boyfriend is a registered sex offender which prevented him from legally living with her. He has had an uphill struggle to survive, but managed to earn a full scholarship to Middle Tennessee State University, along with the Bootstrap Scholarship, a scholarship for “hardworking students who overcame odds to excel in their classes,” as well as a Martin Luther King Jr. scholarship.
He doesn’t mention much about his mom in his story, but talks about how he has taken care of himself buying his own groceries and washing his clothes and simply fending for himself, according to the Daily News Journal. He told Nashville’s News 2 how he had been taking care of himself for as long as he can remember.
“It wasn’t the first time Gooch was alone, though…he remembers being ages six and seven, and not having anyone around to do things like make meals. “I’ve always taken care of myself,” he said.”
To survive, he would stay with an older sister or friends, he’d stay in the library until it closed, slept in his car behind Embassy Suites, and provided a donut to teachers that would agree to work with him on his studies a half an hour before school started at Holloway High School. The 17-year-old is obviously mature beyond his years and his principal believes he’s a godsend:
“Drew is every teacher and every principal’s dream,” said Holloway High School principal Sumatra Drayton. “I know Drew will be back here, speaking at graduation. Drew will be back here mentoring students and being a model.”
Gooch has a job at McDonald’s and he is the valedictorian of his graduating class with a 3.9 GPA. This is a story of perseverance and dedication to education that every child should read. Gooch wants other students to know:
“Take what life gives you. Don’t give up. Don’t sell yourself short. The only person who can decide who you can be is you,” Gooch said. “That’s what I tell myself when I look in the mirror every morning.”
CONGRATULATIONS DREW! You are an inspiration to us all.
Check out his story below.