Homeless at 13 to College Graduate

 

“I left a homeless shelter in 2009 to attend college!”- 22 year old, Anthony Ross says.

Anthony was only 13-years-old when he lost his grandmother, who was his sole caretaker, to heart disease. With no knowledge of his father, he soon moved in with his mother. “All of the utilities were off in the house for months due to her drug use.”

His mothers attempt to take care of him and his three sisters only lasted nine months. “We ran out of the house one night when she tried to murder us with a meat cleaver.” With no clear understanding about life that horrific night would be the start of many to come.

In the streets of Washington, DC while Anthony’s sisters went with their father’s the young man learned to fend for himself. He became homeless sleeping in cars and homeless shelters. Two aunts both from the mother side attempted to house him, but could not. “ One tried to hit me with the frying pan because she was always stressed out. The other was an alcoholic who threw my clothes out of her apartment and threw my birth certificate in my face.”

Friend’s of the family soon realized the need to remove him from the unsafe environment. In the southeast side of Washington, DC housed a family of 14 that lived in a two- bedroom Section 8 apartment. “ I was beating and they wouldn’t allow me to get food from the refrigerator.” Anthony had no choice, but to go back to the homeless shelter. Especially after finding out the family were receiving food stamps and welfare benefits using his name.

He constantly had to watch his back protecting his belongings because different people would sleep in the shelter throughout the night. Unable to attend high school due to working two jobs feeding and clothing himself, he enrolled into a GED program. Wanting something different the 16-year-old began to prepare for college in between jobs studying for the SAT/ACT exams.

“I stayed up until three and four in the morning teaching myself algebra, trigonometry, logarithms, and geometry by watching YouTube videos and had tutors come out to the shelter to tutor me. “

Anthony soon got accepted into Saint Augustine’s University. He spent four to six hours a day in the library studying. Through encounters mentors and friends began to invite him to engage in their family holiday festivities such as Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.

Serving three years in the Student Government Association Anthony got elected to become Student Body President. He interned for the youngest appointed District Court Judge in Wake County gaining experience in the fundamentals of the judicial system.

The Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society member latest quest is to find his family members before he graduates May 2013.  He has been using social media in hopes to get in touch with his love ones. But the senior desire is to graduate Summa Cum Laude and upon graduation attend Law School.

“I am hungry for education and hope that I am able to receive the opportunity to fulfill my dream of becoming one of the best Federal Judges that any law school has ever produced.”