CLEVELAND - Walking into the atrium of MC2 Stem High School on East 32nd Street, 18-year-old David Boone has a reserved smile on his face the size of Massachusetts. It's a good thing.
He'll have plenty of time to fine tune it on the East Coast this fall at Harvard University They offered him a free ride based on his merits earned at his Cleveland school.
What makes his accomplishments even more amazing is that in the last few years he had been homeless. Forced to leave his family home because of relationship problems, some stemming from gang violence in the neighborhood, Boone found food and an occasional bed with friends when he could.
Some nights those just weren't being offered, so he slept on park benches until animals and neighborhood dangers led him find a nicer neighborhood near the Coventry area of Cleveland.
"I had to find a safer park with less dangers," said Boone. "I like it in that area near the park."
Boone's accomplishments and thirst for knowledge never waned as he searched for more than a text book education. Enter MC2 Stem School between Perkins Avenue and Superior Avenue in downtown Cleveland.
At MC2 Stem, Boone found the exact fit, where it seemed he was born to absorb what they were offering. Head of School/Principal Jeff McClellan found Boone to be such a great student and all-around person, but with a serious living situation, so he stepped in to help. After a family home discussion with his wife, McClellan decided to offer him a place to live until he could find another home.
"Here's a kid who's doing everything in his power to get where he wants to go and we had the available resources to provide a little additional support. Wish I could that for everyone, but this was a unique case. Probably won't be the last time, but we're just really proud of David," said McClellan.
Boone will graduate from high school this Saturday, but he's looking forward to joining fellow freshmen this fall in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He hopes to continue his love for engineering and computer science when he arrives.
"M.I.T. didn't accept me even after doing my internship project there, but when Harvard accepted me, that's wasn't a bad back-up plan," said Boone.