Graduate Update: Young Ezekiel Making Waves

Posted: April 12, 2024

At Union Gospel Mission of Tarrant County, we all work hard to support and encourage our residents, no matter how young they may be. When we see those residents grow and achieve great things, we are reminded of why we do what we do every day.

Since his family graduated from our residential program and moved to permanent housing, eleven-year-old Ezekiel has been busy pursuing many impressive endeavors. In first grade, he was accepted into his school’s Gifted and Talented program, a path that would open many doors and introduce his passion for robotics. The program facilitates advanced-level learning and identifies each student’s scholastic strengths so those skills can be sharpened. For Ezekiel, those strengths are math and science. His math abilities are so strong, he earned the top Fort Worth ISD math STAAR score in his grade.

Because of his talent for academics and his passion for hard work, when he received a flyer for the Young Men’s Leadership Academy earlier this school year, he knew he wanted to apply. The academy, an all-boys college preparatory school, requires high academic performance, an application, a student-written essay, and endorsement from three school administrative employees on behalf of the applicant’s academic achievements and character. Ezekiel, whose high grades and kindness to other students made him a strong candidate, was accepted.

When he heard the news, he was elated, knowing he would have the opportunity to pursue his passion for robotics starting in 9th grade. His dream is to build devices that help police officers and robots that can assist in water-rescue operations. He has already identified the mechanical parts he will need for these projects.

Ezekiel and his father, Thomas

Academics are not the only impressive thing Ezekiel has been a part of recently. He was chosen out of hundreds of students to be a part of the team representing the red-shouldered hawk in the competition for the city of Fort Worth’s official bird. The team was chosen by school faculty to represent their school in front of a judging committee, on local newscasts, and at their science fair. Although the red-shouldered hawk was beat by the eastern bluebird, Ezekiel’s nomination for this historic project demonstrates his capabilities and the bright future that lies ahead of him.

Throughout all these achievements, Ezekiel remains humble. His desire to share his story isn’t for his own glory but so “other people will give to UGM-TC”, knowing how much it helped him and his family. Moving forward, he wants to make a difference in the world with his unique abilities and to encourage other students to try their hardest but also realize they have their own unique path. “Everybody is different, and you move at your own pace. You can surpass anyone if you put in the effort.”

If you would like to make a donation in honor of Ezekiel, click here and fill out the honor/memorial section. Your donation will help us continue creating an environment where homelessness isn’t the end of the story, it’s the beginning of a lifetime of achievements and giving back.


CBS Texas, Fort Worth ISD students help pick out city's official bird:

Ezekiel’s family story:


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