Check out the inspiring story of Fred Dukes, a college-bound Atlanta student who graduated from High School despite being homeless and having no support from family.

Dukes’ mother left Atlanta for a job opportunity in South Carolina. Fred stayed behind, and managed to make it through school with a 24 ACT score and 3.0 GPA. He did so without family support, sleeping in homeless shelters and occasionally a friend’s couch.

Making it to class everyday under the stress of surviving on his own was truly a struggle, but Dukes persevered. He’s attending Coker College in South Carolina this fall.

From CBSAtlanta:

“Dukes sold candy in the hallways of school to make money – until he was caught. One night he went to meet a friend for a job, but things went bad. Duke’s meeting went longer than expected and as a result, he said he missed the last train at the Lindbergh Marta Station. With no money for a cab and no one to call, he said he did what he had to do. He walked to Oakland City in southwest Atlanta. That’s a 10-mile walk that started at midnight and ended at 3:30 a.m. But he made it to class on time.

‘It’s a lot. It’s a lot for an adult, and then to see a child do this? Yes it’s a lot,’ said Leyanna Lloyd, Dukes’ science teacher.

‘He would just tell me stuff and I would sit there with a straight face and then I would end up crying after he left because he has been through a lot, but he never said he was giving up, ever,’ said Lloyd.”


The Black Youth Project commends Fred Dukes for his perseverance, and wishes him the best of luck at Coker College!

Against all odds, young black people across the country are standing up and demanding the quality education they deserve. Thank you to NewsOne for highlighting this wonderful story.

Check out a news report on Fred Dukes’ empowering journey HERE.

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