by NPR Staff
When Tierra Jackson was in high school, she was struggling. She kept getting yelled at for being late to school.
What most of her teachers and administrators didn’t know was the reason for her tardiness: Jackson was homeless. Her mother was in and out of prison. She and her brother were living with her aunt and cousins. All seven of them shared a single room in one of Chicago’s homeless shelters, a long bus ride from her school.
“As if high school is not hard enough itself, you know, the hour-and-a-half bus ride, it was kind of exhausting,” Jackson told John Horan, who recorded an interview with her at StoryCorps. Horan was dean of the charter school she attended for high school.