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Called Heroes by President, They Bask in Fleeting Fame

January 27, 1988|DAVID DEVOSS | Times Staff Writer

By May, $40,000 in contributions had poured in to "Trevor's Campaign for the Homeless." He was invited to address the U.N. General Assembly, then dispatched on a goodwill tour of Africa. Mother Teresa invited the Gladwyne, Penn., teen-ager to spend time at her Home for the Dying and Destitute in Calcutta. Trevor accepted, much to the dismay of his teachers who proceeded to flunk him out of Penn Valley Junior High.

"It's been was an amazing time," he said in an interview this week. "One month I was speaking before the U.N., the next I was flunking my speech class. I guess the group at school was just too small."

Today, Ferrell, 15, directs a $300,000 charity that just spent $200,000 renovating a shelter and buying five new vans in which to ferry hot food to Philadelphia's street people. After flunking out of public school, Ferrell landed at the Linden Hill (Boarding) School in Northfield, Mass. One of the charity's board members picks up the $23,000 annual tuition. He continues to confer regularly with Reagan.

"I was in the Oval Office when the President was told about the Challenger disaster," he said. "I saw the President cry. I used to think government didn't care about ordinary people, but now I know it does."

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