A homeless teenager not only graduated from her Washington D.C. high school as valedictorian, but is walking away with a full ride to Georgetown University.
Rashema Melson has lived in a homeless shelter in the D.C. area for the past three years, ABC News reports.
She shares a single bedroom at the D.C. General Homeless Shelter with her mother and two brothers.
In her valedictorian speech, the 18-year-old said she has always refused to let her family’s misfortune define her.
Melson spoke to the hardships she has endured, saying she started to give up.
“But then God gave me a sign that he wasn’t putting me through this to punish me, but to show others how to be resilient and persistent in the goals of life,” she continued.
Melson not only has an impeccable academic record, but she’s also a dedicated athlete.
Her work ethic and determination clearly impressed Georgetown, offering her a full scholarship.
Melson’s sister, Desiree Brown, said she has no doubt she’ll continue to succeed in the pursuit of her ambitions.
“We motivate her to keep up the good work,” Brown told ABC affiliate WJLA. “We just want her want her dreams to come true.”
“Hopefully,” Melson added, “I’ll just do my best.”*ABC News contributed to this report.
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