August Saucier

DSC4576August Saucier from Siegal High School in Smyrna describes his first 16 years as a “Rube Goldberg machine of struggles.” He changed schools every single summer and never lived in the same house for more than a year and a half.  His mother was abusive and suffers from untreated mental illness; father was absent or negligent often leaving his sister and him alone to fend for themselves at night. During his fourth and fifth grade years he missed 80 days of school.

At age 17, rather than move away from Smyrna and his friends with his mother, August rented a room, got a job working 25 hours a week, and continued his schooling. He says of that decision: “I saw that in order for myself to gain success, I must pursue it and grab it myself.”

August is a member of DECA, an organization for emerging leaders, attended Vanderbilt Summer Academy last summer, participated in Linguistic Olympiad, and has had two articles published in our local newspaper.

Peggy Harrell, his high school counselor, reports “One really cold morning he came in around 10:00 and I learned he had walked about eight miles to school with a windbreaker on for warmth….he wanted to be at school.” She also says: “What impresses me most about August is his determination to make it no matter what it takes. He never blames his family or uses his situation as an excuse—he just keeps pushing forward…. He is one of the most determined young men I have encountered in my forty plus years in education.”