Derek remembers all the places he lived as a young man. Many of them were different shelters that he and his mother moved in and out of. “It’s something that was always hard to talk about,” he recalls.
Unfortunately, this type of instability forced Derek to drop out of high school. At that point it in his life it would be understandable if he allowed these circumstances to define his future. But when Derek found out he was going to be a father, he vowed to create a different life for son. He took on two full time jobs and attended night school. All at the same time…
“Honestly, even though I’ve gone on to receive multiple academic degrees and work in the private and public sector, getting my GED was the most important achievement of my life. I still carry a copy of it with me everywhere I go.”
Derek currently works at a nonprofit that advocates for fair housing practices. This past summer he walked over 400 miles from Cleveland to Washington D.C in an effort to bring greater awareness to the issue of homelessness in America.