Yakima Good: Local homeless student beats the odds working to obtain his GED
YAKIMA, Wash.- Struggling with drug addiction, living in an unstable environment, and having little encouragement the odds were stacked against Sage Morningstar, but finally enough was enough.
"The more I kept on getting into it I just decided to make a better change and just started understanding that it was too hard and too complex for me to try and push forward in that unstable environment,” said Morningstar.
But he wasn't looking for any handouts. Instead, Morningstar chose to be homeless, realizing he needed to do things on his own.
He’s now been living at Camp Hope in Yakima for several months and so far, he says it's been for the best.
"Just as long as I keep putting one foot in front of the other I think things will be alright," said Morningstar.
Perhaps better than alright.
"I got my ‘Warehouse and Logistics Program’ certification done. I still need to study for my CLA and that's a work in progress but my GED also has to come first," said Morningstar.
And if all the classwork wasn't enough, Morningstar has also been asked to intern for Camp Hope, earning an income, getting CPR and First Aid certified, and learning how to process paperwork and use Excel and Microsoft Word.
Morningstar was an easy choice for the position, standing out to camp leaders.
"Oh I’m so proud of him. To see where he came from. To see when he first came here to now, is a night and day difference," said Mike Kay, manager of Camp Hope.
Kay says he believes Morningstar is changing the image of what homeless looks like.
"He was very driven before but he was just like a ship without a rudder, he was just going all over the place. To see him now actually focus on a goal, to obtain that goal, and then be reaching out for another goal that's even higher… that is huge," said Kay.
Morningstar hopes his efforts will encourage others.
"I've been through so much sadness, and trial, and tribulation to the point where I don't want to see anybody else sad,” said Morningstar.
Fully believing that if he can accomplish his goals, anybody can.
"It just takes time, and an urge, and a want, and a desire to build yourself back up," said Morningstar.
In the future, Morningstar says he hopes to be a manager at a Walmart and to continue to help others via counseling.
He also says he hopes people will challenge themselves to show love and understanding toward the homeless, quoting a local pastor who always reminds him that we all have our hurts, habits, and hang-ups, however we're all human and sometimes just need a helping hand.