HOUSTON – A 20-year-old Texas man who was homeless and lived alone for three years as a teenager recently graduated at the top of his high school class and won a full scholarship to college, according to a report.
Abandoned and alone as he tried to navigate the already difficult world of high school, Liyjon DeSilva kept his living situation a secret for a time. He managed on his own, and still continued to thrive at school.
DeSilva’s mom died when he was just 5 years old, and after bouncing between relatives, his other family eventually abandoned him, he told the station. For three years, DeSilva lived on the streets, sleeping at parks or in parking lots.
Despite all the heartbreak he faced, DeSilva still showed up daily to Margaret Long Wisdom High School, formerly known as Robert E. Lee High School.
The young man graduated among the top of his class at the end of May, and won a full scholarship to Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota.
While the scholarship covers most of the costs, a crowdfunding site has been set up to help him buy the basics, including a computer.
DeSilva says, “Where am I now? I’m alive and well. I’m blessed. I feel on top of the world.”