A homeless teen in Washington, D.C., defied the odds by graduating high school two years early, winning the title of prom queen and receiving a full scholarship to college.
Destyni Tyree had been living in a homeless shelter with 243 other families for years when she decided to enroll in high school at age 14.
Within two years, the teen earned a 4.0 grade point average, and she was voted prom queen.
“I just time managed,” she told ABC News. “I just wake up and do what I gotta do."
Prior to starting at the school, Destyni said she’d been kicked out of several schools after her mother lost her job and was forced to leave their family home because they weren’t able to afford the rent.
“At first, I didn’t like [the shelter] because I was used to my own space. I had a lot of issues with classmates and teachers. It was just too much,” she said, Daily Mail reported.
Destyni said her motivation for finishing school was her role as a big sister, as she wanted her little sister to have someone to look up to. She’s now ready, however, to go out on her own.
“Quite frankly, I’m just ready to go and live life,” she said. “I know there’s a better life out there for me.”
During her time in school, Destyni took on weekend classes and worked 25 hours per week at an ice cream parlor — in addition to doing school activities and launching the cheerleading team.
Eugenia Young, principal at Roosevelt S.T.A.Y. High School, praised Destyni for her achievements.
“As a student, she is a natural-born leader,” Young told ABC News. “She is a joy to be around, she has a good heart.”
Young called Destyni a “phenomenal” student.
“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,” she added.