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An Atlanta high school graduate is thanking his teachers and friends for helping him get through school. He’s been homeless for the past few years but now has a bright future.

Fred Dukes graduated from Booker T. Washington High School with a 3.0 GPA and an award for scoring a 24 on his ACT. He accomplished all this despite being homeless and without family support.

Duke said, “Very proud I stuck with it. I didn’t give up.” Fred stayed behind when his step mom moved back to South Carolina for a job. But that meant going it alone and staying with whatever friend he could.

But last Christmas things hit rock bottom. He ended up staying at a homeless shelter downtown and nearly lost everything. “I had got into an altercation with a couple other people that were here saying they wanted to take my stuff, my belongings,” Duke explained.

Fred sold candy in the hallways of school to make money, until he was caught. So, he went to meet a friend for a job and even that went bad.

Fred’s meeting went a little longer than expected and as a result he missed the last train from Lindbergh station. With no money for a cab and no one to call, he did the only thing he could do. He walked to Oakland City in southwest Atlanta. He started at midnight and arrived at 3:30 in the morning.

He traveled 10 dangerous miles.

Leyanna Lloyd is Fred’s science teacher. She said, “He would just tell me stuff and I would sit there with a straight face and then I would end up like this after he leaves, because he has been through a lot. But he never said he was giving up. Ever.”

Friendship help Fred make it through. Fred’s friend, Malcolm Candidate said, “We had similar things going on at homethat’s bad and good so we could help each other out because we can understand each other’s issues.”

Wednesday evening a packed house at the Civic Center; hugs and tears all around. In a little while the moment of truth; his time has arrived.

Frederick Dukes is a high school graduate. Dukes says, “Do not let your situation make you who you are. Like I said before it is the decisions that you make that you the person who you are.”

He plans to go to Coker College in South Carolina where he will major in business.

Watch video on his success story here: SOURCE

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