When his family split up in the summer after eighth grade, David Boone, a Cleveland student from MC2STEM High School, spent many nights sleeping on park benches. During the times that he was homeless, Boone stayed out of trouble, out of a gang, and applied to 23 universities. He was accepted to 22 of them, including Ive Leagues schools like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brown and the University of Pennsylvania. Cleveland.com reports that Boone landed a Gates Millennium Scholarship, which will cover all of his college costs not covered already by his current financial aid.

David Boone had a system.

There wasn’t much the then-15-year-old could do about the hookers or drug deals around him when he slept in Artha Woods Park. And the spectator’s bench at the park’s baseball diamondwasn’t much of a bed.

But the aspiring engineer, now 18 and headed to Harvard University in the fall, had no regular home. Though friends, relatives and school employees often put him up, there were nights when David had no place to go, other than the park off Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

So he says he made the best of those nights on the wooden bench.

His book bag became his pillow, stuffed with textbooks first — for height, he says — and papers on top for padding.

Click here to read more