High school may have been some of the best days of our lives, but we can all agree that it wasn't always easy. Dealing with pop quizzes and bullies while navigating through puberty is enough to bring the most levelheaded adolescent to tears.


Imagine being homeless, coping with all the typical teenage tribulations and still maintaining a GPA high enough to become valedictorian. That's exactly what an 18-year-old attending Florida Coast High School in Jacksonville did.



Much like other valedictorians across the country, Griffin Furlong stood before his graduating class and delivered his final speech as a high school student. What he said shocked parents and faculty alike. NBC reported on Griffin's story.

Griffin told the crowd that everyone thought he excelled at school because he was smart. The reality is that he had no other choice. Griffin had everything to lose. Griffin's mother died of cancer when he was six years old. His father struggled to work and raise Griffin and his brother.

The family eventually ended up living in a homeless shelter.



The Furlong family did spend some time living in a rental property, but they were eventually evicted. During his speech, Griffin recalled going to bed hungry and not knowing where his next meal would come from. He never experienced a real childhood. He remembers being treated as though he was less than a human being, and that's when he decided to make something of himself.

Griffin Furlong knew that education was the key to a better life. He was tired of going to sleep at night; hoping he wouldn't wake up. Furlong directing all of his energy towards studying and graduated with an impressive 4.65 GPA reported People.



Furlong concluded his speech by telling his peers to live their lives with purpose.

Anything is possible when you are ambitious, motivated and have a purpose.

Griffin's former teachers were stunned when they heard his speech.


Jennifer Stover, Griffin's calculus teacher, told NBC News that the faculty knew Griffin had problems at home, but they never realized how bad it was. He never used his situation as an excuse, and he always came to class with a positive attitude.



Griffin Furlong hopes his story inspires other kids who are dealing with adversity.

Griffin's classmates wanted him to know that he was already an inspiration to them. So, when Griffin came up short on his tuition to Florida State University, his friends started a GoFundMe campaign. In less than 2-weeks, they raised $26,000 in six days. Griffin Furlong will never have to go hungry while he works towards his degree.

Watch this inspiring story in the video below:




What do you think of this young man's accomplishment? It really shows that hard work pays off, don't you think? Spread the word about this incredible young man by showing this story to your friends and family!

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