From homelessness to being accepted to Harvard, a 23-year-old Henry Ford College student has not let any obstacle get in the way of his education.
Byron Brooks said, “Anything is possible, no matter what situation I’m put in. With God and Jesus on my journey, I’m able to make it through.”
Faith and family have been the keys to Byron’s success. His difficult journey started behind bars.
“My mother had me while she was in prison and I do not know my biological father.”
Byron’s great-grandparents took him in and showed him the importance of religion, education and music.
In high school, he hung around the wrong crowd and flunked freshman and sophomore year, but managed to make up the grades and graduated on time.
He started taking classes at Henry Ford College, but soon became homeless. That didn’t stop him from making the Dean’s List and becoming a licensed minister.
“I’m still here, I’m still breathing, I’m still living, right now. That’s because God had his arms around me even through my situations.”
At his lowest point, he would sleep on bleachers, park benches and under trees.
He didn’t want to ask for help, but someone at his church found out he was homeless and took him in that day.
“They led me into their house, groomed me, fed me.”
Through his journey, some school staff members and friends started helping Byron out. One fellow student would bring him lunch everyday.
“That really meant a lot for me, he made sure that I was able to eat.”
Now, he’s getting his Associates Degree and has been accepted to Harvard University and other prestigious schools.
He chose to attend Ferris State University this fall so he can stay close to his church and come back to Henry Ford College and mentor other students.
“Education is the key to help me build up my community,” Byron said.
He will study music management with plans of having his own record label. Byron also wants to create a music program for at-risk youth.
“More people do this around the world, there will be a positive change in the world.”
As for the obstacles he’s overcome, he has nothing but gratitude.
“Going through everything I did, it changed me, gave me character,” he explained. “The best investment you can put on is an investment within yourself. Just try, you never know what could happen.”