(TruthSeekerDaily)  When faced with challenges we can either let them defeat us or we can defeat them as the opposition in our life.  Griffin Furlong chose the latter and overcame seemingly insurmountable challenges that didn’t stop him from excelling to the point of becoming the valedictorian at his Jacksonville, Florida high school.

While most students deal with stresses of studying, relationships, etc, Furlong was faced with homelessness, more than once.

“At some point I wanted to quit. It was horrible. A kid should not have to go through that,” Furlong said.

Along with his family, Furlong first spent two years in a homeless shelter in Louisville, Kentucky, before they moved to Jacksonville. His family unit consisted of him, his father, and his brother, after having suffered the devastating loss of his mother to leukemia when he was just six years old.  Griffin said that during their on-going financial hardship following her death, they often relied on family for help.

Griffin’s family was finally in a stable living situation until his father was unable to meet ends again, causing the family to go homeless once again.  To make the hardship worse, this was also during the time that the teen was studying for finals and AP test, which was a lot of stress on it’s own.  At this time, he split his time between his aunt and uncle’s home and his girlfriend’s family.

Overcoming all odds, Griffin will graduate with a 4.65 GPA on June 4 as valedictorian of his class.

“Positive mindset. I try to accomplish everything I need to do. I know that I have everything to lose. So I just push myself. School is all I have, family is all I have. I am doing it all for me and what I have been through. I am doing it for my mom,” Furlong said.

The ambitious and hard working teen has plans to study civil engineering at Florida State, the same school from which his brother will soon graduate.

“I wrote him a letter of recommendation, and I said he was the hardest working, most-motivated student I have ever had,” Jennifer Stover, teacher, said. “He never missed a day of school, was always at baseball practice and managed to get his homework done every night and always do well.”

Griffin is hopeful that he will receive some scholoarships to help fund his college education.  He’s grateful for the money has has already received which will help with some of the school expenses.  He was also the beneficiary of a housing discount for Florida State.

“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,” he said

Undoubtedly, Griffin will be successful at funding his scholastic dreams through the same hard word and dedication he discovered within him to overcome all that he has to this point.  He’s impressive and an example of the power of the human spirit and a positive mindset.

h/t: [ ABC7 ]