A teenager from Jacksonville Florida, who was rejected by his family, and turned down by society has just overcame all the odds. Griffin Furlong faced a seeming mountain of struggles from the time he was a young child. After his mother passed away from cancer when he was a child, he became homeless along with his father and brother.
The reason for his homelessness, however, is shocking to say the least…
Griffin’s dad lost his job before he even became a teenager, and the part time jobs were not enough to pay the mortgage payment. After pleading with their landlord, they were kicked out of their home. With nowhere else to go, they were forced to seek refuge in the local homeless shelters. After years of staying in various shelters and abandoned buildings, Griffin did manage to attain some decent living conditions for a short period of time in high school when he moved in with his girlfriend’s family, and then again for a few months with his aunt and uncle.
“I had to grow up really fast,” he said. “I’ve seen things that kids wouldn’t ever see in their lives. I would be starving at night, and I’ve seen my dad physically abused in front of me. I don’t take anything for granted any more.”
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.
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 with no debt.