2006 Katherine DeSantis

Katherine DeSantis has been homeless seven times in her life. She remembers only wanting a stable home life and the luxury of a quiet place to study. However, the consequences of family violence, emotional stress, and poverty caused her to miss out on much of her childhood. At age four, Katie witnessed her drunken father beating her mother. When her battered mom crawled in to bed with her, Katie consoled her telling her it would be okay. But it never was. Her mom finally escaped the abuse when she moved Katie and her little sister to Minnesota, where different challenges awaited.

Poverty frequently forced the family into homelessness. Katie longed for a better life and knew that education was the key to her future. But finding a place to study in shelters while watching over her little sister made schoolwork difficult. Despite all the moves and challenges, Katie remained steadfast in her goal to succeed. She says, "I made a promise that I would do whatever possible to get into college and make a better life for myself."

Katie maintains a 3.4 GPA at Minneapolis Washburn High School, participates in student council, National Honor Society, drama, choir, Gay Straight Alliance, GLBT support group, and varsity cheerleading. She is passionate about singing, and politics, and her dream is to attend Boston University to earn a double degree in Political Science and Sociology.