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From Homeless to Valedictorian: Inspirational Florida Teen Now Eyes College and Career in the FBI {VIDEO}


A teen who spent most of his life in and out of homelessness was named valedictorian at his Florida high school, and now has his sights set on a career in federal law enforcement.

On July 23, Martin Folsom will graduate at the top of his class from A. Philip Randolph Career Academy in Jacksonville. The 18-year-old will take with him a 4.06 grade point average.

“It’s been a rocky road,” Folsom says in a video released to “Good Morning America.” “Been a lot of hardships but seeing myself here right now, about to graduate and go to college, it feels good knowing all the stuff I’ve done was worth it.”

Outside of academics, Folsom is president of the Florida Public Safety Association and president of SkillsUSA (a career and technical student organization). He’s a member of the Beyond School Walls program with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Folsom also served as class president for the last four years.

Folsom has faced homelessness throughout his youth. Despite this, he always showed up for school and is the highest-ranking student in the class of 2020. He’ll attend Valdosta State University in Georgia this fall and recently landed a mentorship with an actual FBI agent.

Watch his story below or click here to view at

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Comment by Darissa Dahon on Sunday

This is really good news. I can’t say that I was in such a situation, but I'm very proud that I was able to graduate from college and get an education in law. I tried very hard to study well and gain additional knowledge. I don't have good writing skills, but I always wrote my written assignments on my own, but using the proof reading from essayedge. Sometimes I need help with my English and tips on how best to edit my essay so that it meets all the requirements. Sometimes you need additional help in learning, and it’s great if you know where you can get it.

Comment by Jeffrey L Donovan on July 3, 2020 at 5:57am

All the best young man. Stay focus, and stay strong.

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