By Michael Rooney
Campus Life Editor
You don’t know a person until you truly get to know them – until you step into their shoes or, at the very least, try to imagine living through hardships. Meet Zachary Wright, a junior undergraduate student at Bridgewater State University.
Wright began attending as a computer science major with a perfect 4.0 GPA. In his tenure at the university, he was awarded a scholarship from the Korean government that permitted him to spend a year studying abroad there. But did you know that Zachary was homeless for part of his childhood?
For starters, Zachary never knew his father. Complications with poverty forced him and his family to move several times over a number of years. At one point, the Wright family moved to Arizona where there was some hope for a brief time. However, in Arizona, Zachary’s stepfather became abusive to his mother, forcing the family to return to Massachusetts. They could not afford a place to stay permanently, leaving them with the single option of staying with friends. Soon enough, they were able to stay in a women’s shelter on Cape Cod. However, the death of his grandfather left the family in extreme danger. Zachary said, “When you’re that poor, eventually you get to the point of saying, ‘Can I imagine a life that’s like this for the rest of my life?’ You realize that things have to change, and that person has to be me to make those changes.” Things once again began to look up when the Wright family secured housing in Brockton.
At the age of 16, when Zachary was a junior in high school, his mother passed away after a battle with illness. He mourned her loss, but it was his attitude that kept him going strong. “I realized the importance of education and how it can lift people out of poverty,” he said. “It’s a foundational way to end poverty.” Sure enough, his attitude made all the difference. Only one month after his mother’s passing, Zachary passed the test to become a certified entry level Information Technology technician. Shortly after, he secured an internship with the Brockton Public Schools IT Department to use his certification.
“I like having challenges, and I like overcoming challenges,” he said. “For me, I want something to work on throughout my life. I don’t want to see it as a job; I want to see it as a passion. I want something I can contribute to, even if it’s hard. That’s something I want to take on.” Zachary’s involvement with organizations continued to grow in this time. He became involved with School on Wheels, which is how he came to BSU on a full scholarship that pays for his tuition,