Homeless high school student named valedictorian

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. —

A homeless high school student in Jacksonville was named valedictorian of his class.

Griffin Furlong's mother died of Leukemia when he was 6 years old, and then he, his father and older brother lived in a homeless shelter for two years.

"At some point I wanted to quit. It was horrible. A kid should not have to go through that," Furlong said.

When he was in the sixth grade, his family moved into a home, but they often had little money and little to eat.

Last month, weeks before graduating, he lost his home again.

However, Furlong will graduate next week with a 4.65 GPA.

"Positive mindset. I try to accomplish everything I need to do. 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," he said.

Furlong said he plans to study civil engineering at Florida State University.

Furlong has received some money to help with expenses at Florida State and a housing discount, but it is nowhere near enough to meet his expenses.

He has applied for academic scholarships, but so far hasn't gotten any good news.

"It is pretty frustrating. I thought being valedictorian, you should deserve a full scholarship, a full tuition. All I have been able to land were grants. That is need-based, so it's pretty tough," he said.