MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The story of a homeless Tennessee teen who became the valedictorian of his Memphis school has gone viral.
Tupac Mosley graduated from Raleigh Egypt High School with a 4.3 GPA. He earned $3 million in college scholarships – all while being homeless.
Mosley shared his story during his valedictorian speech. It was both inspirational and heartbreaking.
For Mosley – like many others in Memphis – hardship and struggle are far too real. During his speech, he brought up losing a family member.
“Many of us on stage have lost one already, including myself. I lost my father my sophomore year,” he said. “But that did not act as a complete deterrent to any of us, because we are still here today, on stage, graduating.”
The loss of his father sent the family into a spiral of sorts.
“We fell behind on bills and we ended up being evicted from our home (earlier) this year,” Mosley told WHBQ’s Siobhan Riley during an interview. “We went to different homes so far, and we’re blessed to have For the Kingdom.”
For the Kingdom is a camping site and nonprofit that helps children and teens. The director allowed his family stay there.
Mosley's speech continued to address the hardship and loss many families, like his, have faced.
“We’ve also lost homes, utilities … wondering when we’re going to eat the next day … where we’re going to lay our head,” he said. “The basic necessities in life have been stripped away from us. However, we have prospered and conquered through all of those difficulties.”
The school mascot of Raleigh Egypt is a Pharaoh. Mosley addressed his classmates as royalty and talked about their relentless perseverance.
“We are the Pharaohs. We are the kings and queens of Memphis," he said. "We have not had our throne taken away from us. No matter what we go through, we are still going to come out on top.”
>> See photos of Mosley here
Meet 17 year old Tupac Mosley. The Raleigh Egypt High School graduate received 3 million dollars in college...Posted by Siobhan Riley Fox 13 on Monday, May 20, 2019
In closing, Mosley pleaded for his classmates and past graduates of the school to give back to the city that help raise them.
“I wish for all of the Raleigh Egypt alumni to come back into Memphis and pour into it – to make that investment that everyone has poured into us and give it back to the new generations," he said.
Mosley will be attending Tennessee State University, where he will major in electrical engineering.
“Never let your current situation, whatever circumstances you’re going through, be a mountain that you can’t climb,” he told WHBQ.
© 2019 Cox Media Group.