2012-2013 College Track Annual Report - Page 6

Troy Simon (Urban League College Track, 2012) at the White House Forum for College Completion. Troy had the opportunity to introduce First Lady, Michelle Obama. Student Bio: TROY SIMON In Young in America: New Orleans, an anthology of pieces by Urban League College Track students, Troy Simon writes: “There’s no way to run from this world. The only thing we can do is face it and overcome our biggest challenges.” Troy’s challenges were bigger than most. At the age of 12, Hurricane Katrina swept through New Orleans, scattering Troy and his family. They did not reunite until a week and a half later, in the Houston Astrodome. His childhood home as he knew it gone, Troy relocated to Texas. In the year after the hurricane, as his hometown took on the immense task of rebuilding, Troy began his own uphill climb. He 4 East Palo Alto • Oakland • San Francisco began to learn to read and write. Essentially illiterate at 12, Troy realized he had no time to spare. “As for me,” he writes in Young in America: New Orleans, “I am changed, have let myself be changed, by education.” Putting his faith in his teachers, dedicating himself to education for the first time, Troy not only pulled himself up to grade level but discovered, along the way, a true love and knack for writing. As he puts it, “I had been held in silence for so long, and writing has torn that silence out of me and allowed me to express myself. I’m driven to write because I have something • Los Angeles • New Orleans • Colorado