SALT LAKE CITY UT July 20, 2016
Millions of youth are homeless every year in America. Michael Gaulden was one of the very few young men who found his way out. Since beating homelessness, he’s felt compelled to share his story, to tell the truth about his experience.
“In my darkest hour there was no guiding light. I had to stumble along and faced many preventable obstacles along the way. I made mistakes. I did not have a map to follow the road of homeless life, let alone the inner city.”
Now, a graduate of UCLA, a professional educator, community activist and public speaker, Gaulden’s mission is to provide that guiding light for youth in the same situation as he was. His experience is one that defines resilience and perseverance no matter what obstacle any one faces.
“My story’s not unique,” Gaulden states. “Millions of kids face this problem every year, and they feel invisible.”
With his father in prison and his mother disabled by chronic illness, Gaulden spent more than ten years without a home, constantly moving all over the country with his mother and sister. When he entered his teens, he began writing stories and poetry as an outlet for the hardships he faced.
“When I was at my lowest points I could pick up a pen and paper and escape,” Gaulden says. “It gave me a voice, a platform and a way out.”
When he finished his memoir he sought a publisher with a reputation of caring for its authors. After researching WiDo,™ they seemed to emit this core value. “I submitted a query letter and was excited to hear they had interest,” Gaulden states.
WiDo Publishing™ editor Allie Maldonado has this to say about Gaulden’s submission. “I liked his query and his initial chapters then sent him the usual email saying I’d get back to him about the full in a few weeks. Except that once I started I couldn’t stop reading. I cared so much for this little boy, his mom and sister. I had to know what happened to them.”
Besides being a writer, Gaulden is a Spoken Word artist and advocate for the arts. He recently started a video project entitled “Homelessness Through the Eyes of Michael Gaulden” in order to shift the negative perception and connotation around homelessness and the people it impacts.
“Michael is exactly the kind of author we at WiDo are looking for,” Maldonado states. “He has a compelling voice and an amazing story. You read the book, feel such empathy for this family, then you see his website and what Michael has done since being a homeless kid on the streets. It’s absolutely inspiring. We are so happy he chose us to publish his book.”
Michael Gaulden received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles. He is a former researcher for UCLA’s Black Male Institute, a research institution whose goal is to conduct reliable research, practical interventions, and effective programs that enrich the educational experiences and life chances of minority males in the United States. Mr. Gaulden is the former Director of Business and Community Relations for Reality Changers, a college prep organization with a focus on building first generation college students. He is currently the Career Development Coordinator for the Monarch School Project, the only operational school in the United States that exclusively educates K-12 students who are impacted by homelessness. As a motivational public speaker, he has spoken to audiences ranging from 20-2000. Learn more at his website michaelgaulden.com.