A Washington, D.C. teen who spent the past two years living at a homeless shelter is now preparing to speak as valedictorian of her graduating class.

Rashema Melson, 18, will deliver the speech at Anacostia High School’s commencement ceremony on Wednesday. 

From NBC Washington:

“…keep going no matter what and don’t let anything keep you down, because you will get put down but you have to get back up,” she said.

 Melson will head off to Georgetown University this fall on a full college scholarship, and hopes to attend medical school after that. But first, she’ll get to revel in her accomplishments.

“You have options and you decide which one you want to take, and I took education because it takes you for the long run,” she said. “It’s not just a temporary thing or won’t just last for five years. Education will take me far.”

Read more at NBC Washington

Rashema moved from home to home over several states over the years. Her dad died before her first birthday. She currently lives at the D.C. General homeless shelter with her mother and three of her six siblings.

After Rashema completes her education, she plans to become a forensic pathologist.


Congrats to Rashema as she enters this next phase of life!

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