BESSEMER, Ala. (WIAT) — One month ago, a homeless teenager from Bessemer wasn’t sure he would graduate from high school, Wednesday night, he walked across the stage receiving a diploma from Gunn Christian Academy.
The small school graduated several students with triumphant stories – from teenage mothers to homeless teens like De’antay Curry who lost both of his parents two years ago and was living couch to couch, but on graduation night he saw the fruits of his labor.
“I was homeless at one point and hungry most of the time, I struggled getting my head back in the game, I struggled with demons inside myself, I struggled with being prideful,” read one of his teachers from a speech he wrote before accepting a special award for his perseverance.
Pride aside, De’antay Curry sat humbled among fellow graduates who also overcame adversity as he listened to his own testimony being read for everyone to hear.
“The students helped me, the underclassmen helped me, they said go ahead Curry you can do it, you ain’t make it this far for nothing, so I just kept pushing,” Curry said.
“I mean what a story, what a story, never quitting and that’s the thing that he can exemplify is that he never quit and I’m just so proud of that,” said Hansell Gunn, the co-founder of Gunn Christian Academy.
But his journey to find a home and begin his path to graduation may not have been possible without a friend’s mother.
“My son just kept saying Ma, Curry needs somewhere to live,” said Takika Ulmer, a mom who took De’antay in.
Despite having several kids of her own to take care of, thankfully Takika welcomed De’antay with open arms, but not before praying about it.
“The Lord will always lead you to where you need to go, and he led me there, and I’m just glad that I could help him,” Ulmer said.
“You know, I pray every night, and you know they say he don’t come when you want him, but he’ll be there on time, so the last minute thing with the graduation, it really turned everything around,” said Curry.
De’antay will attend Alabama A&M University in the Fall to study engineering.