Twenty-twenty has been a true testament of resilience for graduating seniors all across the world. Yet, the challenges brought on by the Coronavirus were not the only thing that Florida teen Martin Folsom had to overcome to make it to his big day as valedictorian. Folsom is also homeless, yet he did not let his circumstances negate his drive to become the top student in his high school graduating class. And of course, rightfully so, has been waiting and praying for the moment that he earned.

“It kind of gave me a jolt in my chest a little bit so it was a good feeling,” he said in an interview with various news outlets.


Although Folsom’s walk across the stage will not happen as he imagined as a result of the pandemic, every step of his dreams are still set firmly in place.

“It means a lot and it gives me a sense of all I’ve done and all I have accomplished was worth it,” Folsom said.

Folsom and his mother have been in and out of homelessness since he was a young child. The young man remembers that, “It was actually the time when we were not really homeless for the longest time but it was when we were at our lowest because it was when we literally had nowhere to stay for an entire day.”

Despite their circumstances, Folsom’s mother was there every step of the way, encouraging her son not to give up on his dreams and make sure that they continued to shine bright.

“She has been the person that whenever I did end up getting upset or whenever I needed somebody to laugh with or talk to she was always there, she was always encouraging me. As far as I know I’m the first person in my family to actually get a college degree.”

Folsom is planning on attending Voldosta State in Georgia in the fall. After college, he hopes to work for the FBI. Congratulations, Martin! So many that you don’t know are proud of you.

Tiffany Silva

Tiffany Silva

Writer and Editor

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