She may have lacked a home, but now this teen has top honors.
A 17-year-old student who spent much of high school living bouncing around homeless shelters — and sometimes sleeping in her car — today graduated as valedictorian of her class at Charles Drew High School in Clayton County, Ga., just outside of Atlanta.
Chelsea Fearce, who held a 4.466 GPA and scored 1900 on her SATs despite having to use her cellphone to study after the shelter lights were turned off at night,“I know I have been made stronger. I was homeless. My family slept on mats on the floor and we were lucky if we got more than one full meal a day. Getting a shower, food and clean clothes was an everyday struggle,” Fearce said in a speech she gave at her graduation ceremony.
Fearce overcame her day-to-day struggles by focusing on a better day.“I just told myself to keep working, because the future will not be like this anymore,” she told WSBTV.
One of five children, Fearce's family sometimes had an apartment to live in, but at other times had to live in homeless shelters or even out of their car, if they had one.
“You’re worried about your home life and then worried at school. Worry about being a little hungry sometimes, go hungry sometimes. You just have to deal with it. You eat what you can, when you can.”
Miraculously, Fearce overcame the odds and even tested high enough to enroll in college classes half way through her high school career. She starts college next year at Spelman College as a junior where she is planning to study biology, pre-med.
“Don’t give up. Do what you have to do right now so that you can have the future that you want,” Fearce said.