High School Student Overcomes Hunger and Homelessness to Graduate


By Bernard Watson

ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) –

Frederick Dukes may be a teenager, but he is wise beyond his years.

“A lot of people talk about doing things, but you can’t talk about it. You can’t think about it. You can only just go and do it,” said Dukes, a senior at Washington Senior Academy.

For the last two years Dukes has been homeless and often hungry.

“I’m still a high school student. Even though I am dealing with the hardships of adults, I am still a young man and teenager at the moment in time,” Dukes said.

When Duke’s stepmom moved back to North Carolina, he decided to stay in Atlanta.

He said that meant living the life of a nomad.

Friends and later faculty have helped, but it hasn’t always been enough.

“My lowest moment over the last two years was this Christmas break when it was cold and I didn’t have anywhere to stay,” said Dukes.

Despite all the hardships, Dukes will graduate from one of the top schools in the state.

“I knew if I didn’t stay on myself, nobody would. If I didn’t care, nobody else would care. If I didn’t help myself, nobody else would help me,” said Dukes.

“It’s pretty amazing when students go back and reflect and pretty much talk about who inspires them, but students like Frederick Dukes inspire me,” said Tiauna Crooms, the principal of Washington Senior Academy.

“Your environment is not what makes you. Who you are is what you do and the decisions you make is what makes you who you are,” Dukes said.

Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

source (and video): http://www.wafb.com/story/18312118/high-school-student-overcomes-hunger-and-homelessness-to-graduate

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