JACKSONVILLE, FL — Martin Folsom, an 18-year old high school senior student from Florida, is graduating as valedictorian of his class despite the challenges of being homeless over the years.
“It’s been a rocky road, a lot of hardships. But seeing myself now about to graduate, about to go to college — it feels good knowing all the stuff I’ve done was worth it,” Folsom said in a video featuring the 2020 graduates of Duval County Public Schools.
Folsom, who is graduating from A. Philip Randolph Career Academies in Jacksonville, says that he wants a better future for him and his family and it is what inspired him to strive harder to finish as valedictorian.
Aside from excelling academically, Folsom also served as the president of the class from his freshman to year. His classmates turn to him if they need help and trust his advice.
Folsom is very grateful for his mother who was with him throughout the hardships that he faced living in shelters. He said he wouldn’t have made it to the top of his class without his mother and the other people around him who helped him.
Due to the current coronavirus pandemic, graduations for the class of 2020 has been canceled. But Folsom didn’t let it put his spirit down.
“Take advantage of any opportunity you can because you never know where it’s going to take you,” he said during an interview with CBS 47.
Moreover, Folsom is planning to attend Valdosta State University in Georgia to study accounting and finance. He is apparently the first one in their family to enter college.