Despite having academic challenges, 18-year-old homeless youth Griffin Furlong graduated first in his class from First Coast High in Jacksonville, Florida, beating out his peers.
Griffin Furlong, whose mother died of cancer, experienced homelessness when he was a little boy. He moved between shelters and the homes of relatives in Florida, USA, for the most of his life. Before experiencing significant success in his academic career, Griffin Furlong struggled for years.
Many people in California took notice of his graduation GPA of 4.65 and started planning fundraisers to cover his college expenses. “People from California are contacting me, people from Hawaii, it’s honestly been odd,” Furlong said of his sudden fame.
To assist him pay for his college education, more than $30,000 was raised in a matter of days. He adds that the overwhelming affection he has received from peers and complete strangers has humbled him, but his focus is now on the future.
He enrolled at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida, to study civil engineering, and four years after beginning his studies there, he earned a Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.Sc.) in the subject.