Homeless Teen Graduates As Valedictorian, Will Attend College Thanks To The Internet

Homeless Teen Graduates As Valedictorian, Will Attend College Thanks To The Internet

Griffin Furlong, from Jacksonville, Fla., has faced more trials than your average high school student, and yet he still managed to triumph over adversity and succeed.

The teen lost his mother to cancer when he was a child, leaving him with his father and older brother. Soon after the death of his mother, the three found themselves living in a homeless shelter for two years, CBS 10 News reported.

When Furlong was in sixth grade, his family finally moved into a home but money was scarce and they often went hungry, according to WFTV 9. Then, just a few weeks before graduation, Furlong found himself without a home once again.

"At some point I wanted to quit," he told WFTV 9. "It was horrible. A kid should not have to go through that."

Furlong spent a couple weeks at his girlfriend's house before moving in with an aunt and uncle, yet managed to keep up his incredible 4.65 GPA through all the turbulence of moving from place to place, CBS 10 News reported.

"I try to accomplish everything I need to do," he told the outlet. "I know that I have everything to lose. So I just push myself. School is all I have, family is all I have. I am doing it all for me and what I have been through. I am doing it for my mom."

On June 4, he will graduate as his high school's valedictorian with plans to attend Florida State University and study civil engineering.

Even after all that Furlong has overcome, he still faces obstacles. The formerly homeless valedictorian can't afford the cost of tuition and has not had any luck with academic scholarships yet.

However, thanks to the generosity of strangers, this story has a happy ending. A GoFundMe page that was started for Furlong last week has already exceeded its goal of raising $20,000 so that this determined teen can go to college debt-free.

A truly inspiring story made possible by sheer will to overcome, and by the generosity of people all over the world.

Before You Go

Julie Andrews
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"Use your knowledge, and your heart, to stand up for those who can't stand, speak for those who can't speak, be a beacon of light for those whose lives have become dark."
Maya Angelou
"People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel."
George W. Bush
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"To those of you who received honors, awards and distinctions, I say well done. And to the C students, I say you, too, can be president of the United States."
Judy Garland
"Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else."
Horace, Roman poet
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"Carpe diem." (Seize the day.)
Steve Jobs
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Rachel Maddow
"After we graduate tonight, we no longer have to let society happen to us. We get to create our own."
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"I don't know what my path is yet. I'm just walking on it."
Barack Obama
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"Because as tough as things have been, I am convinced you are tougher. I’ve seen your passion and I’ve seen your service ... I’ve seen a generation eager — impatient even — to step into the rushing waters of history and change its course."
Eleanor Roosevelt
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"Life was meant to be lived, and curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life."
J.K. Rowling
"We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better."
Homer Simpson
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"The three little sentences that will get you through life. Number one: cover for me. Number two: oh, good idea, boss! Number three: it was like that when I got here."
Mother Teresa
"Don't look for big things, just do small things with great love. ...The smaller the thing, the greater must be our love."
Oscar Wilde
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"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."
"Do or do not. There is no try."

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