Massachusetts honored 39 homeless high school graduates

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Every year, several students such as Kamil Abdul-Qahar face a very different kind of hardship and adversity in high school. While going through the trials and tribulations of high school is rough enough as it is, many American high school students also have to deal with homelessness. In fact, for the 2012-2013 school year, of the nearly 1.26 million students in public high schools, approximately 317,000 of the students were homeless.

While this huge number is almost unfathomable, 39 homeless Eastern Massachusetts high school graduates were recently honored and recognized for their successful graduation from high school this past spring. The students' schools that were recognized included Malden High School, Somerville High School, Everett High School, Lowell High School, the Jeremiah E. Burke High School, and Boston Day and Evening Academy.

Marquis Murray, one of the students who was honored at the ceremony, told WBZ-TV:

"I pushed through, and this is where I am now. I feel like I'm on top of the world. I might not be because I'm not one of the right guys controlling the world, but I'm where I want to be now."


The ceremony was held on Monday, June 23 by Youth Harbors, a Massachusetts program that works with homeless and unaccompanied high school students. The program provides the students with "housing assistance, an adult support network, and individualized life skills development lessons." It is the program's goal to provide a safe place for these students. Youth Harbors is constantly striving to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty and help the students become self-sufficient adults.

While Youth Harbors was a huge help for these high school students, each individual truly deserves praise and recognition for defying all odds and completing high school while dealing with extremely difficult circumstances. Their success and triumph is truly a reason to celebrate.

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