An exceptional 18-year-old boy named Martin Folsom has emerged as the best student of the A. Philip Randolph Career and Technical High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States despite being homeless since he was a child.
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Martin Folsom alongside his mom, Melva lived in a shelter and despite the challenges he faced, he managed to keep his focus on his studies and his efforts paid off when he was named his class’ valedictorian with a 4.06 GPA.
“It kind of gave me a jolt in my chest a little bit, so it was a good feeling. It means a lot and it gives me a sense of all I’ve done and all I have accomplished was worth it,” Folsom said in a video interview shared by KTRK.
Folsom and his mother became homeless after they ran out of their home away from Melva’s ex-husband has since been sentenced to 40 years in prison for murder, WJTV reported.
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They become homeless severally including when he was in 9th grade and again in 11th grade. During that time, Melva recalled desperately searching for a place to live with her son.
“Martin and I were in downtown McDonald’s and literally had nowhere to go. I was on the phone calling people, calling organizations, and by the grace of God, we got into a shelter that day,” Melva narrated.
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In the midst of all the instabilities and challenges, Martin Folsom became his High School’s best graduating student and also served as his class president. He was looked at by his peers as a resource for help and advice.
He credits his mother as well as many other people around him for sacrificing time and money and putting forth the effort to help him get to the top of his class. “I just constantly kept pushing him to be better, and not necessarily to be No. 1, but to be better,” Melva said about her son’s upbringing.
“I never thought to myself, ‘I can’t do this anymore’ or ‘I’m done with this. It’s always been, ‘Well, it happened again and I’ve gotta keep myself up and keep moving forward,” Martin Folsom explained.
Folsom has enrolled to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance at Valdosta State University in Georgia, United States. After his graduation, he hopes to work for the FBI.
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