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.