Teen goes from homeless to High Point University

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HIGH POINT, N.C. – It probably would have been understandable if Kamil Qahar dropped out of school years ago. The High Point Central student was shuffled around different homes growing up, became homeless at one point and helped raise his younger siblings.

For many, school would have been an inconvenience. But Kamil shrugged, “I saw school as a way out.”

Kamil has eight brothers, sisters and half-siblings. He said his dad was never in the picture much and his mom left in recent years. They had to fend for themselves.

“It's definitely been everything but easy,” Kamil said. “We ended up homeless. We were still staying in a house but there was no electricity or water so we had to get to school early so we could shower, wash our clothes [and] stuff like that.”

Food and love were often scarce until his coaches and teachers at school started mentoring him.

Kamil managed to excel in school. He took advanced placement classes, played basketball and football, and ran track.

His mentor and basketball coach Joel Battle explained, “The situations that he was going through were so bad that he was staying with us [his coaches] sometimes if he needed to. We were picking him up, taking him to eat, every birthday they had we would celebrate, take them to a restaurant… They almost became family.”

Kamil said he couldn’t have made it through without help from his teachers and coaches.

But Battle said Kamil’s attitude is what really made the difference. “He had dreams and goals and wasn't a kid that was gonna let his situation hold him back.”

Kamil graduates June 16 and will attend High Point University with scholarships in the fall. He hopes to play sports, maybe own his own sports team one day and pursue broadcast journalism.

He insisted, “What I've done so far is just a small amount of what I want to do in the future.”