Since 14, James Ward, his mom and two younger siblings have lived between shelters, relative’s homes and a car until they reached the Union Rescue Mission in Los Angles in 2012. Within the last week, Ward, 19, has raised $12,000 through his online campaign, “Homeless To Howard,” to pay for his first year of college at Howard University.
With donations through Paypal, the campaign has gained national attention with highlights from Teach For America as well as a shout out from rapper, Common, to name a few. Ward hopes to raise enough money to pay for all four years of college.
“I would’ve never thought that something we started just a couple of days ago would’ve turned out to become this massive,” Ward said. “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.”
Determined to create a better outcome, Ward drew inspiration and help from junior producer at Yahoo! Studios, Jessica Sutherland, who once struggled with homelessness, herself. The two met when she spoke at the Union Rescue Mission about her own experiences.
“My attitude is — like myself, I also grew up homeless — he didn’t ask to be born into this, and it’s not his credit, but he’s the one being punished for it,” said Sutherland, speaking of the frustrations of applying for loans. The denial of the Parent PLUS loan pushed her to create the online campaign.
Ward, who will be the first in his family to attend college, admits that while he is following his own dreams, it’s more important to him that his siblings know the value of education and knowledge.
Read more on the Huffington Post.
BMWK – We think this is great! Please consider donating to this young man’s online campaign, “Homeless To Howard,”
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