Paul grew up in a family of four in the west end, with four brothers and sisters. With his mom working hard to provide for the family, he had a freedom that many kids his age didn’t, allowing him to hang out with friends, some good and some bad.
The influence his negative friends had didn’t manifest until he was a bit older, being kicked out of multiple middle schools in the city and dropping out of school during his junior year after losing a close friend to a car accident the year prior. He would go on to work multiple jobs and continue to travel through life without direction.
It wasn’t until he fell asleep at the wheel of his car late one night after work that his life would turn around. His car flipped multiple times into the median and after retrieving his belongings from the junkyard his life changed. The worker at the lot told him that nobody ever walked away form accidents like he had unscathed and handed him a funeral card that was recovered from his vehicle, the one he kept in memory of the friend he had lost so many years before.
This moment changed him and he immediately started trying to get his life back on track. Paul went back to night school to get his GED and enrolled in Bristol Community College not long after receiving it. College was a difficult transition but he knew that with this new lease on life, he had to give it all he had. Paul was quickly enrolled into the Commonwealth Honors Program and assisted on the President’s Transition Team, helping the new college president, along with a panel of administrators, to accomplish her first year goals at the school.
Paul graduated this last spring with an acceptance, which he is differing while he completes basic training with the Air National Guard, to Cornell University. He will be working with the intel department with the National Guard while he pursues a Communications degree.
Faces of New Bedford is a project by Colton Simmons. If you are interested in booking a shoot or getting prints from the series email all inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Read more of the Faces of New Bedford series here.