A man from Washington, D.C., who lived in a tent for two years, recently graduated as valedictorian of a free adult high school.
Michael Jeffrey lost his two jobs and his home during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to NBC 4 Washington. He found himself living in a tent under a bridge in the D.C. Navy Yard area.
“We don’t want pity,” he added. “A lot of people in this situation is just like me. We want better; we want more.”
Jeffrey found that “more” last year when he learned about and enrolled in classes at the Goodwill Excel Center, a free high school program for adults.
“I didn’t want to be stuck out here,” Jeffery said. “I don’t wish this on anybody, to be stuck out here.”
For the entire school year, Jeffery took classes and studied while still living in a tent. “A lot of people don’t get that second chance, and Goodwill allowed that second chance for me, and I appreciate that,” he said.
Recently, his hard work paid off. Last week Jeffrey graduated as valedictorian of his class. Just two weeks before that, he moved out of a tent and into a new apartment.
He will begin his studies at Catholic University in the fall, and his goal is to eventually attend law school.
“I’m studying legal studies,” he said. “Who would’ve thought that I would be studying legal studies, right? There was no hope in this tent, but I found it, so you see how far I’ve came and how far I will get.”