Homeless Galveston teen earns scholarship

GALVESTON, TX (KTRK) -- Paul Palmisano has lived in nine foster homes.

"I didn't like CPS. I was literally begging to get out of there. So, I did," Palmisano said.

At age 17, there was literally no one to help him along.

"But I wind up back in a dead-end again. I winded up homeless," he said.

He ended up in an emergency shelter in the Houston area. There, a decision was made to transfer him to a children's shelter in Galveston.

"And I didn't like it. It was dark and it was scary," Palmisano said.

New to Galveston, he was enrolled into Ball High School and placed in the school's mentorship program.

On Kimberly Bachmeier's first day volunteering in the program, she met Palmisano. She says it was divine intervention.

"The first things is, he was living in a shelter, and he said he didn't feel safe and he was scared and he hardly slept at night. He slept with his clothes and shoes on sometimes because he was scared," Bachmeier said.

Two days after they met, it was parent teacher night at Ball High School, and Bachmeier was there.

Within a month, Bachmeier helped Paul get his birth certificate, driver's license, an apartment, and a part-time job.

Now thanks to the nonprofit America in Recovery, Palmisano was awarded a $2,000 scholarship to pursue his dream of becoming an automotive technician.

For the young man who has never really had a family until now, it is overwhelming that his dreams of having a family and working on cars are all happening at once.

"I had never had this many people support me, and I just want to say, thank you very much," Palmisano said.
Copyright © 2019 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.