Despite his family’s struggles, a Georgia teen said he held his head high and persevered through the tough times. He’s since graduated from high school with honors and is now college-bound.
Calvin Rhodes, 18, will start at Georgia State University next month, where he plans to study engineering, Atlanta station WSB-TV reported. It’s a huge accomplishment for Rhodes, who was once homeless and living out of a car for two and a half years with his family.
“We’ve been through a lot, and through that entire time, I just persevered and just never gave up,” he said. “And I just kept my head up.”
The teen’s mother, Ebony Rhodes, said they’ve come a long way since then and are now doing better than ever, thanks to help from an Atlanta deputy police chief. The single mother of four was arrested by police in 2016 aftter there was an issue with her license.
Ebony and her kids had been homeless for about six months, even though she was working full time. Calvin, the eldest of the bunch, also works full time.
Atlanta police Deputy Chief Jeff Glazier stepped in to help after learning of the family’s situation. Glazier told WSB-TV he was most troubled by the fact that the kids were having to do homework in the car they were living in. So, he worked to get the family into a shelter after Ms. Rhodes’ arrest, and then an apartment in Southwest Atlanta, according to the outlet.
“Its just terrible to hear something like that,” Glazier said of the family’s ordeal. “And you feel like you just have to do something.”
A GoFundMe page created on the family’s behalf has since raised more than $67,000 and is still accepting donations. Ebony told WSB-TV her family has faced new challenges these past few years, including chronic health conditions that have all but drained their savings. All the donations have helped keep them afloat, she said.
Glazier said his goal is to create “a safety net” for Ebony and her family.
“My goal is pay for her rent, food, medicine, and transportation so she can continue to work and save money without the stress of wondering if her family will be homeless again,” the deputy wrote on the GoFundMe page.
As for Calvin, the college-bound teen said he’s looking forward to this next chapter in his life, and is thankful for Atlanta PD and others who’ve helped his family.
“This just goes to show that some people are good; there are people who care for others,” he said.
Watch more in the video below.