A former homeless Murfreesboro teen has been awarded a full scholarship to Middle Tennessee State University for all of his hard work.
Drew Gooch will go from once sleeping in his car to sleeping in a college dorm room next fall.
He told Nashville's News 2 that he had to move out of the home he shared with his mom because her live-in boyfriend is a convicted sex offender.
“I could not live with my mother legally because her boyfriend was a registered sex offender, and he can't live with a child,” Gooch explained.
With no where else to go, the teen was forced to sleep in his car, a 1997 Camry.
“You drive around and look for a dimly lit place and a place where no one will bother you. And you just hope no one bothers you while your sleeping,” Gooch said.
He continued, “I was waking up every 30 minutes, looking around, making sure no one was walking up to my car.”
It wasn't the first time Gooch was alone, though. He told Nashville's News 2 that he remembers being ages six and seven, and not having anyone around to do things like make meals.
“I've always taken care of myself,” he said.
A few months ago, 17-year-old Gooch showed up at Holloway High School to finish his education and will be graduating with a 3.9 GPA.
Once at Holloway, Gooch said he would sometimes bring a donut to a teacher who had agreed to come early and help him with his work.
“Drew is every teacher and every principal's dream,” said Holloway High School principal Sumatra Drayton. “I know Drew will be back here, speaking at graduation. Drew will be back here mentoring students and being a model.”
Along with the scholarships allowing him to go to MTSU, Gooch received The Bootstrap Scholarship, a scholarship for hardworking students who overcame odds to excel in their classes.
It was given to only six students this year by two businessmen in Nashville.
Gooch added that he also received a Martin Luther King Jr. scholarship.
“These scholarships are everything to me because without them I would not go to school,” he told Nashville's News 2.
Gooch hasn't decided on a major yet, but said that he is torn between pre-law and pre-med.