Sherman Poole is an engineering teacher at the Compton High School and also coaches for the Solar Boat Competition. He is full of positive spirit and energy, always hoping to make a difference in his students’ lives by preparing them for the next step. He also understands first hand that one has to put in the sweat equity to fulfill their goals.
Poole’s path to success was not easy. For many years, Poole was homeless, living in a car his friend bought for $300, with his son and his daughter. His wife was incarcerated and he lost the rest of his family in a house fire. Poole spent many nights in the car until he found a room at a shelter. There, he was introduced to the Housing Authority and applied for the Section 8 voucher program. This opportunity was life changing for him.
Once he received a housing voucher, Poole joined Section 8’s Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program. The FSS Program is designed to help participants identify and reach their educational and career goals by connecting them to services and resources in the community that can help them achieve economic self-sufficiency. On a warm November afternoon, Poole joined other graduates of the program for the graduation ceremony. He jumped with joy and tears filled his eyes when his name was called. He had reached his goal of becoming an educator and is now financially stable to graduate from the program.
“With the support of the Housing Authority, I had a place to call home and they helped me get to where I am today. I persevered. All the pain I suffered, I turned it into positive energy” said Poole.
Poole went back to college and obtained his degree in 2007. Two years later, he was hired as a teacher. Poole shared how the FSS Program impacted his life: “With hard work, you can accomplish your goals and change your life. I’m a living witness. Take advantage of the FSS Program. Do what you can do. With this today, I have a new beginning.”
Poole’s next goal is to become a homeowner.
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