At age 14, his home was destroyed by gang members who were upset the teen wouldn't join them. Boone and his siblings had to split up and take shelter wherever they could, because their mother couldn't afford a new house. On some nights, the teen had no choice but to sleep on park benches.
"All of these life lessons have shaped me into who I am, transforming my dreams and aspirations and allowing me to free myself from what was becoming an unproductive environment," Boone stated in his blog post.
Friends and mentors occasionally pitched in with food and a warm bed, but no matter what, Boone remained dedicated to his schoolwork.