Homeless student in Florida graduates as valedictorian

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WFOX/CNN) – As Martin Folsom puts on his hard-earned cap and gown as class valedictorian at A. Philip Randolph Career Academies, he’s overcome more than most.

Despite battling homelessness, a Florida teen has become valedictorian of his high school graduating class. (Source: WFOX, CNN)

Martin and his mother have been in and out of homelessness since he was a kid and throughout his four years at the school.

And while his walk across the stage may have been taken away due to the coronavirus pandemic, his drive for a better future was worth it.

"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 said.

Martin credits much of his success to his mom, who made sure his dream never faded.

"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."

Martin plans to attend Valdosta State University in Georgia in the fall.

After college, he hopes to work for the FBI.

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Class of 2020 Highlights: Martin Folsom - A. Philip Randolph Career Academies from Duval Schools on Vimeo.