In this June 22, 2017 photo, Conner Crowder, who has weathered a lifetime of family challenges to graduate from North Thurston High School, poses at Sylvester Park in Olympia, Wash. Crowder was one of 156 unaccompanied youth in the nearly 14,500-student school district last year. They're considered homeless by federal guidelines, and are eligible for extra support. He graduated with a 3.4 grade point average, and nearly $20,000 in college scholarships and awards in hand.
There's no way to avoid it. As the cost of college grows, research shows that so does the number of hungry and homeless students at colleges and universities across the country. Still, many say the problem is invisible to the public. "It's invisible even to me and I'm looking," says Wick Sloan. He came to Bunker Hill Community College in Boston more than a decade ago to teach English full time.