Griffin Furlong just graduated from First Coast High School with a 4.65 GPA, making him the valedictorian of his class. But unlike his peers, Griffin has also been balancing being homeless in addition to term papers and final exams. Twelve years ago, cancer took the life of Griffin’s mother, which contributed to his family’s descent into poverty. The high school senior and his father are still technically homeless today. He wakes up early for school each day from a different bed as the two bounce from shelter to shelter.
Until now, Griffin’s teachers say they never suspected his situation was this bad, as a student who never missed an assignment and turned in the highest quality work. The valedictorian is headed to Florida State University in the fall, thanks to friends who raised over $103,000 on GoFundMe. The university has stated it will also be pitching in to help Griffin’s journey to a better life. On the inside of his baseball caps, Griffin writes “Never give up,” the mantra that has taken him this far. “I am thankful for every supporter out there. This will completely change my life, I hope people understand that,” he writes on the GoFundMe page. “No more worries. All I want now is a happy, peaceful life.”
Watch Griffin’s incredible story below.