Homeless Student Awarded $3 Million in Scholarships, Named Valedictorian

Image: Fox 13 Video

For most high school students, their senior year is riddled with challenges. But outside of the demands of homework and having hormones on the fritz, 17-year-old Tupac Mosley of Memphis, Tenn., faces a particular challenge unlike anyone else in his graduating class: he’s homeless.

Mosley refused to use his circumstances as an excuse not to thrive academically, and Fox 13 reports that he’s been named valedictorian of his class and has received more than 50 scholarships totaling more than $3 million.

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Did I mention this kid is homeless?

“When I heard that I got $3 million I was more than elated,” Mosley said. The total he received tripled the $1 million goal he had set for himself.

During his graduation speech, Mosley made it a point to inspire his Raleigh Egypt High School classmates and tell them that nothing is impossible, and they too could overcome whatever obstacles they’re facing if they believe in themselves.

“Never let your current situation, whatever circumstances you’re going through, be a mountain that you can’t climb,” he said.

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After his world was thrown into chaos when his father died, Mosley somehow maintained his 4.3 GPA despite bouncing from house to house and oftentimes having no idea how he’d even get to school.

“After my father passed, we fell behind on bills and we ended up getting evicted from our home February 21 of this year,” he said. “So, we went to different homes so far and we were blessed to have For the Kingdom.”

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For the Kingdom is a camp and retreat center where urban youth in Memphis are provided the tools and resources to get their lives on track. By being provided with a stable home environment, Mosley was able to focus on his studies. And with the help of For the Kingdom, his teachers, and his principal, he’s keenly aware his success was a communal effort.

“I knew that I had to make them proud,” he said. “I knew that their investment was worth it that and just show them that—yes, everything that you poured into me was worth $3 million and counting.”

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In the fall, Mosley will major in electrical engineering and attend Tennessee State University.

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About the author

Jay Connor

Menace to supremacy. Founder of Extraordinary Ideas and co-host and producer of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. Impatiently waiting for ya'll to stop putting sugar in grits.