Graduating at the top of the class is an incredible feat in itself, but this student's journey there made it all the more astounding.
Trameka Pope, a student at Wendell Phillips Academy High School in Chicago, has been through a lot. While she was in grade school, Pope and her mother were homeless, Fox 32 reported. After eighth grade, the student gave birth to a daughter. But in spite of the obstacles she's faced, the teen mother is the valedictorian of her school's graduating class.
"I didn't give up. I pushed myself hard. And my baby motivated me every day because I wanted to provide for her and I also didn't want to be a statistic," Pope told Fox 32 of her experience.
Pope has a few more successes to be excited about -- she's been accepted to more than 25 colleges, and has also received more than $600,000 in scholarships. While Pope has a lot to be proud of, she's worked hard to get there. The teen takes college prep classes at a college and also attends four courses at her high school, according to Fox 32.
And her busy schedule doesn't end there. She's a cheerleader, a member of National Honor Society and participates in several other extracurricular activities. Additionally, she works at her local grocery store.
The teen plans to attend Western Illinois University in the fall. She hopes to one day get a Ph.D. in social work.
For Pope, it was her incredible attitude that propelled her to the top of her class. It's this determined spirit that also pushed Griffin Furlong to be an accomplished student. Furlong's mother died when he was a child, and soon after, his family lived in a homeless shelter. He moved several times later on, but regardless, he graduated high school last year as valedictorian with a 4.65 GPA.
Chelesa Fearce also managed to shine in school, regardless of her tough circumstances. The student was homeless during most of her time in high school, often studying by the light of her cell phone while staying in a homeless shelter. But Fearce still graduated at the top of her class back in 2013 with a 4.466 GPA.
“I just told myself to keep working, because the future will not be like this anymore,” Fearce told WSBTV.
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