A teenager named Griffin Furlong was named valedictorian and it was supposed to be a normal speech, but the secret he revealed had everyone in tears.
During his valedictorian speech, he revealed a heartbreaking yet inspiring story about his life… He was homeless all through school.
Despite the kind of life he led, Griffin never missed a class. He graduated from First Coast High School at the top of his class with a perfect GPA! He took the internet by storm with his message of never giving up. He mentioned that he lost his mother at a very young age and since he was seven years old, he had been homeless. He endured numerous hardships on his way to becoming class valedictorian.
For those who are not aware of the term “valedictorian”, according to Wikipedia, a “Valedictorian is an academic title used in the USA, Canada, Costa Rica and the Philippines for the student who delivers the closing or farewell statement at a graduation ceremony (called a valedictory). The chosen valedictorian is usually the student with the highest ranking among his/her graduating class.”
When he began his valedictorian speech and before he revealed his secret, Griffin clearly mentioned that “giving up is not an option.” Griffin has forever lived his life with the 4-word motto “Just never give up”.
Griffin shared his story of being homeless with the 500-plus graduates, mostly had no idea about his struggles.
Griffin said he was able to accomplish what he did by having a purpose. He told the crowd he made the grades he did because he had nothing to lose. He also said he did not have a normal life as folks thought he did, at one time he was lost with nothing.
I can’t even count the number of sleepless nights I spent alone on a cold plastic mattress, I cried… internally hoping that my life would soon wash away so I would not have to bear the hardships of a seemingly evil world.
Griffin lost his mother to cancer at a young age and lived in a homeless shelter for two years.
He was constantly hoping from one shelter to another and often went to bed hungry. Having seen the worst of what life can offer, Griffin is determined to work hard so that his life takes a turn to a bright future.
I never gave up, no matter how bad I wanted to. To everyone sitting here before me, do not live a life without purpose. Deep down inside you know you have something to show.,so whether you realize it or not… never make excuses, especially if you have a loving family able to give you what you need and want.
Griffin Furlong and beautiful girlfriend Avery McCall
His story is beyond inspiring. It sheds light on the issue of teenage homelessness and the will to get through anything. What he says is true – never give up! What a brave young man 🙂
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