Rashema Melson, an extraordinary 18-year-old who struggled with homelessness while in school, has been named the top student at Anacostia High School in Washington, D.C., in the United States.
Throughout her six years of high school, Rashema Melson, her mother, and her two brothers resided in the D.C. General homeless shelter. She described how she made an effort to avoid the shelter house as much as she could while attending high school.
“I try to stay out as late as possible. I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite place.” she narrated.
Rashema, who was interviewed on how being homeless affected her academic performance, said that she frequently wakes up in the middle of the night to complete her homework in quiet because of the loudness and protracted security checks in the shelter. She continued by saying that although she didn’t disclose her homelessness to her classmates, she also didn’t keep it a secret from them.
“I don’t like sharing with kids because they start to pity you or they start to look at you in a different way. And I feel like, ‘Hey, I’m just like the rest of you. I come in to get an education,” she said.
Rashema Melson graduated from Anacostia High School in Washington, D.C., as valedictorian with an exceptional 4.0 GPA. Regarding her grade, she remarked, “I just know when I have a goal, I try not to let anything get in the way.”
After completing high school, Melson was given a full scholarship to Georgetown University in Washington, DC, where she pursued a bachelor’s degree in justice and peace studies.
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