Meet Griffin Furlong, high school valedictorian and homeless senior. The Jacksonville student is proof positive that you can succeed in school no matter what your background is.
His mom died from leukemia when he was just 6, forcing him to live in a homeless shelter with his father and brother for 2 years. When he was in 6th grade, he moved with his family into a rental home in FL where they still struggled to meet ends meet. Despite his circumstances, he always worked hard at school and never missed a day.
But during his senior year, they became homeless again. Luckily, his girlfriend's family took him in for three weeks before Griffin got to go live with his aunt and uncle. Yet through all that turmoil, he earned a 4.65 GPA and will graduate as valedictorian on June 4.
"I know that I have everything to lose and so I just push myself," he says, crediting his academic success to his "positive mindset." The 18-year-old loves calculus and plans to study civil engineering at Florida State, but there's one problem: the cost of attending school.
He received some need-based grants, but no academic scholarships so far, despite his valedictorian status. Luckily, friends have set up a GoFundMe account for their classmate so he could get college donations from the public. So far, $38,000 has been raised.
Talk about a happy ending! Congratulations to Griffin and best wishes for a bright future.