Senior Griffin Furlong, despite losing his mother to cancer when he was six and living in homeless shelters his entire life, often going hungry. Despite having this hardship all of his life, Griffin went on and achieved a 4.65 GPA, earning him the title of valedictorian at First Coast High School. During his speech he went on to inspire classmates, teachers, friends and even strangers that when you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.
In his speech Griffin says to his classmates, “It’s amazing what you can do with your life when you have motivation, ambition and most importantly, a purpose.”
During his struggles, Griffin used to write the words “Never Give Up” on the rim of his baseball caps to remind of his mother, and that he had to keep going, no matter how hard life was. He had learned for himself early on that the only way to improve his impoverished situation was to get good grades, study hard and never give up. Despite living on couches, with friends, and in homeless shelters, Griffin never missed a day of school. Teachers and classmates spoke the world of him, most of whom never even knew of his situation until his valedictorian speech. He never once used his situation as an excuse- he never once gave up.
He planned to study civil engineering at Florida State University, but didn’t have enough grant money to secure his entire tuition. A GO FUND ME page was set up on Griffin’s behalf and as his story went on to touch the the hearts of people across the country, it raised over $90k in two weeks to support his education and future. You can now expect a lifetime of remarkable achievements from Griffin, as he prepares to go off to college this fall. When your life gets rough and you make excuses as to why you can’t, let his story inspire you that you can truly accomplish anything you set your mind to… and to never give up.