By By Kevin Cullen, Boston Globe
LOWELL — Katrina Walther was 16 when her parents split up and she didn’t want to be in the middle of it so she just left. She moved away.
“I lived out of my car,’’ she said. “I was young. I didn’t know any better.’’
She went to high school during the day and worked full time at the Taco Bell in Walpole at night.
“They told me I was the fastest American employee they had,’’ she said.
In the summer, she drove down to Cape Cod and worked days at a camp in Truro and nights at the Ben & Jerry’s in Eastham. With her sticky fingers she counted the change that people threw in the cup on the counter, because that’s what she lived on. She worked 85 hours a week and got by on four hours of sleep a night.
When she wasn’t sleeping in her car, she’d stay with some of her friends. One friend’s mother, Maureen Mercier, started asking her questions.
“What about college, Katrina?’’