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The Power of Ambition: Homeless Valedictorian to Attend FSU
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of NBC News

NBC News, June 4, 2014
Posted: November 7th, 2016

Griffin Furlong is a Florida teenager who knows something about heartaches and joy. The 18-year-old is homeless, but he graduated at the top of his class from Florida Coast High School. Furlong managed to achieve a 4.65 grade point average ... making him the valedictorian. Hell attend Florida State University in the fall. Everyone thinks I try to make good grades because Im smart. Not true, he told his fellow graduates. I perform the way that I do in the classroom because I have everything to lose. Furlongs mother died of leukemia when he was just 6 years old. Soon afterward, Furlong, his father, and older brother lost their home and ended up in homeless shelters. Furlong said he often went to bed hungry and there were times when he wanted to give up. He sought temporary shelter with his girlfriends parents then moved in with an aunt and uncle, who said Furlong had laser-like focus on his school work. He had nothing else but to study," said his aunt, Nancy Nancarrow. He didnt have the things that most children have. He would go to his room when he was home and he studied. That is his entertainment. Were proud of him. Now, [Furlong] says he hopes his story inspires other kids who are also facing hardships. Despite the obstacles I faced, I know that I can actually do something with education. His only wish, he said, is that his mother could see him deliver his speech. Dont dwell on the past, use it as motivation for your future, he told the graduates. Its amazing what you can do with your life when you have motivation, ambition and most importantly, a purpose.

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