JACKSONVILLE, Fl. - As if becoming Valedictorian wasn’t hard enough, one First Coast High School student rose to the top of his class while facing personal hardships.
Griffin Furlong is graduating at the top of his class with a 4.65 grade point average.
While most students in his position were concerned about exams and homework, Furlong also worried about where he was going to sleep at night.
He and his father got kicked out of their rental home this semester.
“We just couldn't afford it. It was really devastating because I had AP tests,” said Furlong. “It was really hard on me.”
Furlong isn’t a stranger to moving around. He said he spent most of his life bouncing around motels and homeless shelters with his brother and dad. His mom died of leukemia when he was 6 years old.
“In elementary school, I didn't really have friends because you don't want to tell people you're homeless,” said the Valedictorian.
When the baseball player moved to Jacksonville in 6th grade, he realized he could exceed in school if he devoted as much time to studying as he did to sports.
Now he’s living in a small room at his girlfriend’s parents’ house.
“People didn't know my story, but I kept a smile on my face and it worked out,” he said.
This fall he will attend Florida State University to study engineering. He said his tuition is taken care of.