Below is a story of only one homeless student who has defeated the odds and graduated high school in spite of her many obstacles. This story is so inspiring and it supports my belief that our pasts do not dictate our present, nor our future.
Brooklyn students overcome the odds and head off to college
They’re Brooklyn’s fabulous five.
City high school seniors graduate this month, and these five Brooklyn students have beaten back incredible challenges to make it to the finish line.
Kristal Anthony, Don Royce Creppin, “Alice,” Kiara Cruz and Randy Higgins have survived homelessness; the earthquake in Haiti; murder of and mental illness of family members; and a learning disability. Four will attend college in the fall and one desperately hopes to join them. These are their stories:
Kristal Anthony :
East Flatbush teen Kristal Anthony didn’t have the luxury of worrying about homework during high school; she had to take care of her sick mother while they lived in a homeless shelter.
Anthony, 18, who ranked third in her class at William E. Grady High School in Gravesend, commutes to class from a shelter in Harlem while helping her mother who suffers from Sickle Cell Anemia.
“It was so overwhelming at times,” said Anthony, whose family has been in and out of shelters after being forced out of their East Flatbush apartment when they couldn’t afford a rent increase. “I was ashamed at first but then I realized that this is just my situation and this is who I am right now. If I’m ashamed of that then I’m ashamed of myself, my mom and my whole family. I just learned how to accept it.”
Anthony was able to post a 90 average in her classes while playing both basketball and softball. She also earned a slew of scholarships and will attend SUNY Oneonta in the fall.
“It feels like a really long journey coming to an end,” said Anthony. “I’ve been waiting and preparing for this since junior high school and it feels like I’ve finally accomplished my goal.”