Homeless student graduates top of his class - WBTW-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Florence, SC

Homeless student graduates top of his class

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  • Up to 35 underage arrests at 'I'm Shmacked' event in North Myrtle Beach

    Up to 35 underage arrests at 'I'm Shmacked' event in North Myrtle Beach

    Friday, August 29 2014 9:02 PM EDT2014-08-30 01:02:37 GMT
    Twitter image from House of Blues on Thursday night from Dionysus on TwitterTwitter image from House of Blues on Thursday night from Dionysus on Twitter
    Up to 35 people were arrested on a variety of charges at a concert at House of Blues in North Myrtle Beach on Thursday night, officials said. North Myrtle Beach Police are still processing reports from the event, which was a concert by a band called “I'm Shmacked.”
    Up to 35 people were arrested on a variety of charges at a concert at House of Blues in North Myrtle Beach on Thursday night, officials said. North Myrtle Beach Police are still processing reports from the event, which was a concert by a band called “I'm Shmacked.”
  • Teens hurt after falling from carnival ride

    Teens hurt after falling from carnival ride

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:46 AM EDT2014-09-01 10:46:21 GMT
    Teens hurt after falling from carnival ride in Texas.Teens hurt after falling from carnival ride in Texas.
    Two teenagers were rushed to University Medical Center in serious condition, that according to emergency dispatchers, who said they fell more than 12 feet from a ride at Saint Anthony's Bazaar on Sunday night.It happened shortly past 10 p.m.Dispatchers said firefighters also requested a ladder to rescue somebody stranded on the ride. The Crimes Against Children unit is investigating. There was no immediate indication from police of why that unit is involved.
    Two teenagers were rushed to University Medical Center in serious condition, that according to emergency dispatchers, who said they fell more than 12 feet from a ride at Saint Anthony's Bazaar on Sunday night.It happened shortly past 10 p.m.Dispatchers said firefighters also requested a ladder to rescue somebody stranded on the ride. The Crimes Against Children unit is investigating. There was no immediate indication from police of why that unit is involved.
  • Staying employed after Labor Day in Myrtle Beach

    Staying employed after Labor Day in Myrtle Beach

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 12:02 AM EDT2014-09-02 04:02:13 GMT
    Labor Day means many businesses in Myrtle Beach scale back their operations, but not every store closes its doors."Last winter I was unemployed,” said Chris Durff.Durff works in the Gay Dolphin parking lot in Myrtle Beach.He moved to Myrtle Beach two years ago and says in the summer jobs are plentiful, but when the season ends it is a different story."During my off time, I was constantly looking for a job but you know...
    Labor Day means many businesses in Myrtle Beach scale back their operations, but not every store closes its doors."Last winter I was unemployed,” said Chris Durff.Durff works in the Gay Dolphin parking lot in Myrtle Beach.He moved to Myrtle Beach two years ago and says in the summer jobs are plentiful, but when the season ends it is a different story."During my off time, I was constantly looking for a job but you know...
JACKSONVILLE, FL - A High school valedictorian in Jacksonville, Florida, has overcome obstacles most students have never faced. 

Griffin Furlong lost his mother to leukemia at the age of 6, and soon after that, lived with his father and older brother in a homeless shelter for two years in Louisville, Kentucky.  His family moved to Jacksonville when he was in sixth grade and they lived in a rental house. The family struggled constantly to make ends meet and he found himself homeless last month in the midst of finals and AP tests.

His girlfriend's mother put him up for three weeks, then he moved in with an aunt and uncle.

Through all this, he ended up with a 4.65 GPA and will graduate as valedictorian on June 4.  Furlong says he always wrote in his baseball cap every season, "Never give up."

Furlong just turned 18, and got a state ID and is now working towards his drivers license.

He loves calculus and plans on studying civil engineering at Florida State, where his brother will graduate this summer. 
Furlong has received some money to help with expenses at Florida State, and a housing discount, but it is nowhere near enough to meet his expenses. He has applied for academic scholarships, but so far hasn't gotten any good news.

Furlong said, "It is pretty frustrating. I thought being valedictorian, you should deserve a full scholarship, a full tuition. All I have been able to land were grants. That is need based, so it's pretty tough."

Furlong says he intends to share his family's journey in his valedictorian address.

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