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(CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga.) — Becoming the valedictorian of your high school is a difficult and impressive feat in itself, but it’s even more impressive for a Georgia teen who did so while her family was homeless.

Chelesa Fearce has a GPA of 4.466 and scored 1900 on her SATs, even though she and her family were without a home for most of her high school years. Sometimes they lived in shelters or inside her mother’s car. Fearce says it was tough at times.

“You’d be worried about your home life and then worried at school,” she said. “Worried about being a little bit hungry sometimes, go hungry sometimes.”

Still, she persevered. “I just had to open my book in the dark and just use a cell phone light. Just do what I had to do,” she said.  

Fearce is graduating with top honors at her school in Clayton County, Ga. She will be attending Spelman College in the fall, but already has enough credits that she’ll be a college junior.

Her message?

“Don’t give up,” she said. “Do what you have to do right now so that you’ll have the future that you want.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


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