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“Accomplished,” Destyni Tyree, 16, told ABC News. “That’s how I feel right now.”


Though her life has been no storybook, Tyree made her own rules, persevering past insurmountable odds. The D.C. teen recently graduated in two years at the top of her class with a 4.0 GPA, secured a full ride to Potomac State College of West Virginia University, and was recently voted prom queen – all while living in D.C. General, one of the city’s largest homeless shelters.

Tyree’s accomplishments are a humbling reminder that with the right formula of self-actualization and goal-setting, your life trajectory is boundless.

Faced with D.C.’s sky-rocketing rent and surges in the price of living, Tyree’s mother lost her job. The family was forced to make the difficult decision to move into the shelter, which houses around 243 people.

Tyree says she felt immense pressure to find peace and a sense of normalcy, sharing space so intimately with such a large group of people. She also changed schools numerous times.

“I had a lot of issues with classmates and teachers. It was just too much,” she said.

It wasn’t until she enrolled in an alternative program at Roosevelt S.T.A.Y. High School, that Tyree found her bedrock. With unwavering support from her family and school officials, the teen flourished, finally finding her stride.

“The more and more she’s around people who constantly tell her how smart she is, and how she can do anything she puts her mind to, the more she believes she can do anything now,” Roosevelt’s principal Eugenia Young told ABC.

Tyree worked tirelessly, spending weekdays and weekends attending classes while holding down a job at a local ice cream shop, where she worked 25 hours a week. She was also a student organizer, helping to facilitate the school’s first cheerleading squad and a senior trip to a local amusement park.

The 16-year-old is looking forward, ready to begin her new life when she attends Potomac State College as a freshman in the fall.

“It gets better,” Tyree said. “If you work hard enough, if you have that drive, if you have that motivation, it gets a lot better.”

SOURCE: ABC News | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Twitter


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Homeless D.C. High School Teen Graduates At The Top Of Her Class  was originally published on