Man Who Lived On Skid Row Graduates From College

Kenneth Chancey, 23, is a true hero. He had to overcome many obstacles, including living on skid row, to obtain his college degree. He proudly wore his a cap and gown and was handed his degree at the Loyola Marymount University graduation. He received a political science degree, according to Good Morning America.

When he was 11, he lived on the streets and had to sleep on Los Angeles City buses. Chancey said “[t]hat was my lowest point, not having anywhere to go. And just saying, we’re sleeping on the bus,” according to ABC News.

When Chancey was 15, he lived at Skid Row’s Union Rescue Mission. Home was a 200-square-foot room he shared with his father and sister. Life was difficult, and he passed drug deals and street fights on his daily walk while in high school. He indicated that he was embarrassed and did not tell his classmates where he lived at the time. He said that the rooftop of the Union Rescue Mission was his escape and stated the following, according to ABC News Channel 7.

“It’s beautiful. It’s serene. You see the view, but mainly because you escape Skid Row. Everything is beautiful if you don’t look down….We hear perpetuating stereotypes that homeless are mentally ill or mentally unstable, but there’s families on Skid Row, and there are families that need support. Sometimes it’s not that people don’t want to exit Skid Row, its people don’t have the means and the opportunity to.”

He had a perfect 4.0 average and was on the varsity track, football, and swim teams, and he received several college scholarships, despite the odds. He said the following, according to ABC News.

“It was so unbelievable. That four-year journey was complete. I climbed here bare-handed. And yes it was harder than most people who are given resources….parental support. But it’s not impossible.”

Now, he is seeking employment. Although he has some offers, he’ll spend another summer working at the Inner-City Arts summer camp. His offers include jobs in government, with non-profits, and in public relations.

Chancey noted that he wants to change the prejudices regarding people on Skid Row and what they can accomplish, stating the following.

“The point was to change the stereotypes of what’s on Skid Row. That’s the goal.”

Andy Bales, CEO of Union Rescue Mission, had great things to say about Chancey’s accomplishments, according to ABC News Channel 7.

“The journey from living in a van, going to school with the same set of clothes every day, feeling really bad about life and yet he never ever gave up….When people learn of his story, I think it inspires them all that, ‘Hey, if Kenneth can do it, maybe I can do it.'”

Another motivational person is Arlie Smith, 45, who is a Costco greeter at a store in Danville in northern California. He was known to be a very friendly greeter who tried to cheer others up, despite his own problems. He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis over two years ago. Unfortunately, in addition to MS, he also was diagnosed in September with kidney cancer, which has spread to his bones. He was given a diagnosis of less than three years to live. He has worked for the big box store for over 21 years and, despite all he is facing, tries to cheer up the customers. He draws smiles and flowers on receipts for customers’ children, according to the Daily Mail. But what is his goal? Not a selfish one. Instead, his goal is to become the top fundraiser for Children’s Hospital in Oakland during a drive that the store has, according to a story in the Inquisitr.

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