“Homeless To Howard” may sound like the title of an upcoming Lifetime movie, but in actuality it’s a campaign that 19-year-old James Ward launched just last week in hopes of raising enough funds to attend college.
The Los Angeles teen will now be able to matriculate at the historically black university this fall thanks to his online campaign he launched “Homeless To Howard.”
“It’s surreal. I can’t believe after everything that’s happened I’m going to be leaving to attend Howard,” Ward said in an interview with The Huffington Post.
His crowdfunding site, which has picked up steam across social media, is collecting donations through Paypal.
Currently the campaign has raised $12,000, enough to cover his leftover expenses that aren’t covered by loans and grants for his first year.
The ultimate goal is to raise enough funds to cover all four years of college. However, for the moment, raising enough to cover the first year, Ward said, is beyond what he ever expected.
“I would’ve never thought that something we started just a couple of days ago would’ve turned out to become this massive,” Ward said. “However, it makes me feel very happy because I know that although the world may seem like a harsh and cold place, there are some people out there that care and want to give to those in need.”
Ward’s family, which includes his mom and two younger siblings have been homeless in California since the teen was 14.
Before the family secured a spot at the Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles’ Skid Row neighborhood last year in February, they bounced around from different relative’s homes and shelters. They even lived out of his mom’s car when times got really hard.
“In the past years, life has been very hectic,” he said. “We had a lot of ups and downs, but through it all, I’ve always managed to keep my grades up and help my younger brother and sister do the same and keep them on the right track as well as myself.”