Florida teen who struggled with homelessness graduates as schools valedictorian

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WSVN) — A Florida teen whose family struggled with homelessness is now his school’s valedictorian.

Martin Folsom is graduating at the top of his class at A. Philip Randolph Career Academy, Action News Jax reported.

“It means a lot, and it kind of gives me a sense of all I’ve done, and all I have accomplished was worth it,” he told the station.

The accomplishment is especially meaningful since Folsom and his mother have lived in and out of homeless shelters since he was a child.

“It was actually the time when we were not really homeless for the longest time, but it was when we were at our lowest because it was when we literally had nowhere to stay for an entire day,” he said.

However, Folsom said his drive for a better future kept him going, and having his mother by his side helped ensure he reached his dreams.

“She has been the person that whenever I did end up getting upset or whenever I needed somebody to laugh with or talk to she was always there, she was always encouraging me,” he said. “As far as I know, I’m the first person in my family to actually get a college degree.”

Folsom said he plans to attend Valdosta State University in Georgia in the Fall.

Ultimately, he hopes to work for the FBI.

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