"Homeless Valedictorian" talks about the future

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Some call him the homeless valedictorian. Others an inspiration. Though he has already been through a multitude of challenges, Griffin Furlong is still a young man looking forward to college.

"Probably just meeting new people and having a good time, but also getting all the studying done that I need to," tells Griffin Furlong.

He will be studying engineering at Florida State and says when he went to visit at orientation he was already pretty well known on the campus.

"During orientation a lot of people knew who I was and were asking me questions and I met a lot of cool people," he says.

Looking back now it is hard to believe at first Griffin Furlong didn't want people to know his story.

"In elementary school it was really difficult for me and in high school I didn't want to tell anyone," explains Furlong.

Losing his mother at a young age, living in a shelter and being shuffled around homes... it was a difficult story to tell. But as he got older and became First Coast High School's Valedictorian, he realized this was his chance to take his test and make it his testimony.

"I want to reach out. I want to tell people they can do anything they want to do with their life if they just keep their mind to it," says Furlong.

His story gained national attention. He was on CNN, Today show, Good Morning America and several other shows, newspapers and magazines. All were amazed at how much he had overcome in his life.

He has been asked by several groups to give speeches and he says he is considering it, but he also wants to relax and play some baseball over the summer before college begins.

Griffin also says he is very thankful for all the donations people have sent in to help him pay for college. Right now his Go Fund Me account is over $100,000!

"Right now I am going to just keep saving it and anything I need in college, like books or just anything that will help me out along the way. I know college can get expensive," tells Furlong.

The best part though has been all the encouraging messages he has gotten from across the country.

"They were saying that I was inspiring and stuff that made me kind of blush," he says with a smile.

Furlong says he doesn't regret for one second sharing his story because he hopes it will help other kids realize anything is possible.


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