Black Teen overcomes hardship to become valedictorian, earns $3 million in scholarships

USA TODAY  Tupac Mosley, 17, graduated from Raleigh Egypt High School this spring as the school's valedictorian- despite becoming homeless. Mosley, earned a 4.3 GPA and recieved the announcement at his graduation ceremony.



Mosley, a once-homeless Memphis teen, said his father died at the end of his sophomore year. After his father's passing came financial struggles. Principals, teachers and other staff began reaching out to him.
"I did not expect me to be the person who is representing my community at this caliber," Mosley said.

"I now see the true impact that I can have on children going through situations similar to mine, or even worse than mine."
Right after his sophomore year, Mosley scored a 31 on his ACT. This year, he received the Gates Scholarship, a full scholarship "for exceptional, Pell-eligible, minority high school seniors."
 
Mosley's final semester was his most trying because of life outside of school. In February, he had to move out of his home and just recently established a permanent residence.
 
The support system that followed him through his journey in school motivated him to be greater, Mosley said. "Anytime I feel like this is too much for me to handle, this is overbearing, I can't do this anymore, they have always been in my ear to me to make sure that I never give up," Mosley said. "I didn't want to disappoint them."
 
Mosley was always at the top of his class academically, and was a valedictorian in middle school. He knew when the success continued in high school, he could win scholarship money, he said. 

Mosley said he hopes to come back to Memphis and tell kids not to let their circumstance be in the way of what they want in their future.
 
He plans to go to college to earn a degree in Electrical Engineering and study at Tennessee State University





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