A homeless Florida teen has gone viral after been named valedictorian as he graduates high school.
Keep scrolling for this incredible story of a teen who defied the odds...
Homelessness is a major issue in our country.
via: GettyWith the current economic climate making it harder for people to keep up with their rent, the issue is getting truly out of hand.
On a single given night here in the States, over half a million people sleep on the streets.
via: GettyAnd, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Annual Homeless Assessment Report, in January 2018, 552,830 people were counted as homeless.
But we aren't the only ones with this problem.
via: Getty ImagesNational reports have shown that over 2% of the world's population is homeless. If that had to be converted into a solid figure, it would range between 150-160 million people.
And, shockingly, these reports also disclose that twenty percent of the world's population lacks adequate housing.
via: GettyThat equates to almost 1.6 billion people.
And, while it may be easy to assume that homeless people simply got themselves in their unfortunate positions...
via: GettyIt is important to remember that many find themselves being forced onto the streets through no fault of their own.
Many are fleeing from abusive homes...
via: GettyAnd others, with little or no support network at all, can find themselves sleeping rough through a series of unfortunate events.
All that homeless people need is a chance.
via: Getty ImagesYet, sadly, very few are willing to give it to them.
And, in dark and troubling times like these...
via: GettyHomeless people need the support and kindness of strangers more than ever before.
But one homeless teen has defied the odds...
via: Getty ImagesAnd has been named valedictorian after graduating high school.
Martin and his mother Melva became homeless while fleeing Melva's ex-husband.
Her ex has since been sentenced to forty years in prison for murder, according to WJXT.
Within just 2 years...
via: YouTubeThe mother and son reportedly lived in different shelters across 5 states before coming to Jacksonville.
Things were looking up...
via: YouTubeBut, while Martin was in high school, he and his mom became homeless again.
Melva desperately searched for a place to live with her son.
via: VimeoThe family became homeless while the Martin was in 9th grade and again in 11th grade, according to the outlet.
Melva spoke out about her struggle:
via: Twitter"Martin and I were in downtown McDonald's and literally had nowhere to go," she revealed to WJXT. "I was on the phone calling people, calling organizations, and by the grace of God, we got into a shelter that day."
Despite all the challenges he's faced through the years...
via: YouTubeAnd with such an uncertain living situation, Martin incredibly managed to stay focused on his studies.
Martin even served as class president from freshman year through to senior year.
via: Vimeo"I never thought to myself, 'I can't do this anymore' or 'I'm done with this,'" he explained. "It's always been, 'Well, it happened again and I've gotta keep myself up and keep moving forward.'"
Melva had instilled that determination and commitment in her son from day one.
MARTIN FOLSOM!!!! That is his name, say it. You fucking did that shit!!! Congratulations!!! https://t.co/LXRAu6JIcT— michael (@michael)1591028170.0
Following his graduation from the Georgia university...
via: YouTubeMartin plans to attend Valdosta State University, where he will begin studying in the fall.