Homeless Immigrant from Bahamas off to Yale

Wellington Mackey was evicted from his Bronx flat in January 2003. Suddenly he was homeless so it is a delightful new to hear that 13 years later he is heading to Yale. Mackey was honored with a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship making it for students with associate degrees to receive USD 40,000 per year so they could reach their ultimate goal – a four-year diploma. The award is given to just 85 students in the entire United States each year, and Mackey found out he was one of them. 

"The fact that he was selected out of so many students really speaks to his character," said Sandra Ramsay, director of scholarships at WCC. "His story and his academic record really resonated with the foundation."

Mackey immigrated to New York from the Bahamas when he was 23 but did not manage to make enough money to pay rent. He spent numerous night in the streets of the city sleeping on benches or in subway stations. "It was scary because I didn't really know the culture much," Mackey said. "It was a difficult time."

He is thankful to a church that provided him with shelter in return for handyman work, and to a company that gave him his first job and where he is now a manager. He is a father of two daughters and is involved in charity work as well. Way to go Wellington!

Photo attribution: Screenshot


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