An unhoused teenager is valedictorian of his high school’s graduating class. Elijah Hogan of New Orleans, whose mother died when he was eight, had spent the previous 18 months living at a center for unhoused youth before graduating from Walter L Cohen high school with a 3.89 grade-point average. Hogan said the shelter, Covenant House, helped him stay on track with his academics. He is one of at least five residents at the shelter to have graduated. “This goes out to all African American children, teens included,” he told WDSU. “Don’t let others define who you are. Don’t let things get you down. Let these moments help you. Get through.” Xavier University offered him a full scholarship and he plans to pursue a graphic design degree.

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