Homeless High School Student Hopes To Use His Experience To Help Others | Auburn , Maine | Bangor Daily News
High school senior Sam Chamberlain, 18, is making his life experience work for him, and others.
After living in three homeless shelters for the past two years, Chamberlain has become a homeless youth advocate.
Working with the Maine Homeless Youth Providers, last fall the Edward Little High School student asked Gov. Paul LePage to issue a proclamation making November homeless youth awareness month.
Chamberlain wrote the proclamation and submitted it to legislators and the governor’s office. “He took the initiative. He did a nice job,” said Bob Rowe of New Beginnings of Lewiston. LePage, who himself was a homeless teen on the streets of Lewiston, signed it and met with Chamberlain.
This month Chamberlain attended a national conference on homelessness in Los Angeles. His flight and expenses are being paid by the conference, he said.
“I am excited,” he said. He went to learn how other states are handling homeless youth, and use that knowledge to help in Maine.
The staff at his high school is impressed.
“He is an outstanding representative for Edward Little, a good ambassador in anything and everything he does,” Edward Little Assistant Principal Steve Galway said. Not only is Chamberlain a good student, “he’s an outstanding citizen,” Galway said.
Chamberlain said he became homeless in the summer of 2009. He and his family weren’t getting along. Tired of the “yelling and screaming,” he and his parents agreed he would leave, Chamberlain said. He was reluctant to give specifics, but said he was more comfortable in a homeless shelter.
But moving to a shelter at age 16 “was scary,” he said. “All of a sudden I’m sharing a room with someone I don’t know. It was uncomfortable, but I’m grateful for it.”