A teen who spent most of his life in and out of homelessness was named valedictorian at his high school.
On July 23, Martin Folsom will graduate at the top of his class from A. Philip Randolph Career Academy in Jacksonville, Florida. The 18-year-old achieved a 4.06 grade point average.
"It's been a rocky road," Folsom says in a video released to "Good Morning America." "Been a lot of hardships but seeing myself here right now, about to graduate and go to college, it feels good knowing all the stuff I've done was worth it."
Outside of academics, Folsom is president of the Florida Public Safety Association and president of SkillsUSA (a career and technical student organization). He's a member of the Beyond School Walls program with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Folsom also served as class president for the last four years.
Folsom also helped his class win a forensic science competition.
"He's such a special guy, and he's a great student," principal Cathy Barnes told "GMA." "He has a big heart for his fellow students, their future and making sure they're an amazing generation."
Folsom has faced homelessness throughout his youth. Despite this, he always showed up for school and is the highest-ranking student in the class of 2020.
Folsom was enrolled in A. Philip Randolph Career Academy's criminal justice program and has sights on becoming an FBI agent.
In the Fall, he will attend Valdosta State University in Georgia, and hopes to live on campus.
Barnes said Folsom recently landed a mentorship with an actual FBI agent.
"He's going to make this happen," she added.
Folsom's advice to rising students is to "take advantage of every opportunity."
"You never know where it's going to lead you to, or what you can end up getting out of it," he said.