High Point teen goes from homeless to high school graduate

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — High Point teen Desmoné Kearse will graduate from T. Wingate Andrews High School despite the challenge of being homeless most of her senior year.

For about nine months, Kearse and her family of four spent their nights in eleven different homes; even spending some nights at the Open Door Ministries Homeless Shelter.

Kearse said that she thought about quitting when the studying, and caretaking for her younger siblings while her mom was at work, became overwhelming.

Instead, she used the motivation of the people around her and her younger sister to continue with her studies.

“To be there it kind of broke my heart in a way I kind of felt like I hit rock bottom. There was nothing to build to. But my mom always told me no matter what your struggle is, how hard the obstacle is, there is always a brighter side,” Kearse said.

T. Wingate Andrews High social worker Kimberly Boggan said that teachers would often give her extra time on the weekends or afterschool hours to complete her assignments.

“I never saw her get defeated or down,” Boggan said. “She always tried to find a way when there was no way.”

Kearse said that her neighborhood Boys and Girls Club members were helpful in finding housing and necessities. In honor of her hard work and determination Kearse was named “Youth of the Year” by her Boys and Girls Club on Fern Avenue.

Kearse plans to start earning college credits early this summer through an Upward Bound program at UNCG. In the fall Kearse will attend GTCC and she plans to transfer to NC State to study zoology or biology.

Kearse and 201 other students will graduate Saturday at the Special Events Center in the Greensboro Coliseum.

7 comments

  • Mike

    I was made homeless after a 22 year marriage, when my wife cheated on me and left me. I understand what her family has gone through and I wish them the best.

  • FaithC

    This is such a wonderful story. I wish this child all the best and may she find happiness in all she does.

  • Heather Hbic

    This is amazing story, it makes me proud to see she pulled thru and thinks that she should be able or a scholarship. My daughter goes to school there and its a challenge everyday, but she will graduate there next year. The teacher are amazing and pull togeather as a team. They strive and work hard to pull kids thru the tuff times.I have seen a big difference in Andrews in the last two years. I give teachers credit or all their hard work even though they go through struggles o not having enough teachers and other things. Congrats to her and her family should be proud.

  • Burt Ward

    Homeless teen, homeless child is a misnomer. It does not technically exist. Once a child is deemed homeless there are a dozen safety net programs that kick in to protect them. But often it takes a selfless act of the parent who can no longer take care of them it takes the parent making a statement like, “I hereby declare I can no longer take are of my child and I formally request the U.S. Government to provide necessary housing, medical care, and board to meet their basic needs.” A lot of parents are too proud to make that statement and the kids suffer. it could mean them staying in a foster home until the parents get back on their feet. My state operates numerous children’s homes that are based on the group home model. The are arranged in circular neighborhoods usually with a gym, pool, and other rec facilities. One even features an operating ranch. Each state has its own ways to deal with, “Homeless children” if you will.

  • Accomplished

    I was this child. Thankfully, I had aunts and uncles to stay with until I finished High School. When I graduated, I took any opportunity that came along that would help me become independent. I moved to another state with someone I barely knew (another female), got a job and later got my own place. Once I was able to secure my own place to live, I worked full time and went to college. I finished my Bachelors degree in Business in 2009 20 years after graduating high school. During that time, I also obtained an Associates degree in Information Technology and a Real Estate license. I promised myself that I would never depend on another person to take care of me and I have kept that promise to myself! This young lady will surely do great things.

  • Joanne

    Desmone’ , You are an awesome young woman! Your perseverance, positivity, and discipline will pay off in securing your future. I wish you well.

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