When you read stories like this, you just have to feel good.
Meet Drew Gooch, a Holloway High School senior in Murfreesboro, TN who is on his way to college after very rough beginnings.
As told to the Daily Journal, Gooch says he’s basically been homeless and living on his own since last spring when he moved out of his mother’s home. He doesn’t go into details but other outlets report that his mother’s live-in boyfriend is a registered sex offender and since he is a minor, Gooch could not stay there. When he moved, he mostly stayed at his sister’s house at night or with friends; however, if he couldn’t stay with them, he slept in his 1997 Toyota Camry behind a hotel.
He attended two school and took online home school classes while working at McDonald’s before ending up at Holloway High in December 2012. When he went to register, the school principal realized that despite everything that was going on, he mostly maintained an A average.
Once admitted, he took all advanced honors classes. Holloway is also a school that allows its students to graduate early so at age 17, Gooch is doing just that. By the way, he’s graduating with a 3.9 GPA and is this year’s valedictorian.
He will be attending Middle Tennessee State University in the fall…and won’t have to pay for a thing. He has received a scholarships from The Bootstraps Foundation, Tennessee’s HOPE and Dream scholarship fund and from the local Martin Luther King, Jr scholarship fund.
It should be noted that Gooch is no longer homeless; he now lives in Smyrna, TN.
Gooch says that it was Holloway that chose him, not the other way around. He didn’t have his parents around as positive figures in his life so he used his educational figures as his role models. Many of his high school teachers met Gooch at school before classes start to help him get up to speed in his advanced honors classes.
So what does Drew Gooch say about his life so far? He knows he’s faced challenges but isn’t letting that stop him and encourages others to be strong:
“I’d like to say I’m mature and rational, realistic. But I’ve been forced to grow up fast. I don’t have the childhood that most of my peers have.
“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.”
What a story! Drew Gooch is to be commended for his commitment to hard work and dedication to his education. We wish him all the best as he majors in pre-law and minors in business at Middle Tennessee State.