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Sean Fulayter


Sean Fulayter’s story is both humbling and inspiring. Sean comes to us from Michigan after overcoming unbelievable obstacles. He was born in Flint, Michigan on July 21, 1993 and is 17 years-old. Sean’s parents split before he was born and he never knew his father. He lived with his mother and grandmother for most of his childhood. At the age of six, his mother got remarried to a man in the U.S. Navy who was both mentally and physically abusive to his family. Sean’s mother suffered from mental illness and after the birth of Sean’s second sibling she also began using hard drugs to escape the abuse. At the age of 11 Sean began taking care of both siblings. One was a newborn infant and the other a toddler. He cooked meals for them and made sure they had everything they needed. Because of this responsibility, Sean missed many days of school but somehow managed to keep very good grades.

Sean moved back and forth between his mother’s house and his grandmother’s house most of his childhood because of family problems. He says, “I never really had a home to call my own.” At the age of 13 Sean was kicked out of his mother’s house and lived on the streets for 30 days. He slept near generators behind a store to keep warm during the cold Michigan winter and got food wherever he could.

Cold, hungry and weak, Sean walked into the city library and ‘Googled’ his father, whom he had never met. He found the address and walked 14 miles with two bags of his belongings to his father’s home. He lived there for a few months before living with his father became unbearable.

Sean went back to his grandmother’s house. When he was 15 his uncle invited Sean to visit him in Austin, Texas. Coming from a family with generations of gang activity, Sean wanted to make a better life for himself and his siblings, whom he dearly loved. When he learned a friend was killed by a rival gang in Flint, Sean was advised by his friends to not come back to Michigan.

Sean then moved to San Antonio to live with another uncle. “My uncle took me in as his own son and he is the only father figure I’ve ever known. He taught me how to respect women, how to protect myself and how to talk to people. He taught me everything about life”, said Sean. Living with his Uncle Steven, Sean enrolled in a Southside San Antonio public high school as a freshman and started making bad grades, skipping school and even getting involved in fights.

After his freshman year he heard about San Antonio Can! High School from a friend. His Aunt brought him to the Can! for orientation and helped pave his future. Sean was 16 when he started at the Can! as a sophomore. Since enrolling Sean attends school full-time while working two jobs; one in landscaping and one at a restaurant. He even attended summer school to gain credits faster. Sean says, “The Can! has helped me more than anything. I can’t explain how much.”

He realized his dream to join the U.S. Army when he was sworn in September 24, 2010. Sean hopes to make a career in the Army as combat medic. Sean attends a church youth group meeting every Tuesday where he says “we pray for our families and pray for forgiveness.”

Despite enormous obstacles and unconscionable circumstances Sean will graduate from San Antonio Can! High School on January 21, 2011. He hopes to soon be able to adopt his siblings and do for them what his Uncle Steve did for him. Sean thanks his Uncle Steve and Aunt Sue Ann for treating him like a son and saving his life. 

“My uncle took me in as his own son and he is the only father figure I’ve ever known. He taught me how to respect women, how to protect myself and how to talk to people. He taught me everything about life”, said Sean. Living with his Uncle Steven, Sean enrolled in a Southside San Antonio public high school as a freshman and started making bad grades, skipping school and even getting involved in fights. After his freshman year he heard about San Antonio Can! High School from a friend. His Aunt brought him to the Can! for orientation and helped pave his future. Sean was 16 when he started at the Can! as a sophomore. Since enrolling Sean attends school full-time while working two jobs; one in landscaping and one at a restaurant. He even attended summer school to gain credits faster. Sean says, “The Can! has helped me more than anything. I can’t explain how much.” He realized his dream to join the U.S. Army when he was sworn in September 24, 2010. Sean hopes to make a career in the Army as combat medic. Sean attends a church youth group meeting every Tuesday where he says “we pray for our families and pray for forgiveness. Despite enormous obstacles and unconscionable circumstances Sean will graduate from San Antonio Can! High School on January 21, 2011. He hopes to soon be able to adopt his siblings and do for them what his Uncle Steve did for him. Sean thanks his Uncle Steve and Aunt Sue Ann for treating him like a son and saving his life.

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