PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) - A Phenix City teen has beaten the odds of a tough hand dealt to him, and he is set to be the first in his family to attend college.
LaMarieous Franklin says there were times he didn't think graduating from high school was possible because of life's ups and downs, but now his dream is about to come true.
LaMarieous Franklin is ready for new beginnings after a four-year up and down battle in high school. The senior at Central High School has fought his way to become the first person in his family to get a high school diploma.
"I hope that my experience won't be something that's looked upon as shameful but rather as a testimony that strengthens people's faith," said LaMarieous Franklin.
Franklin says at one point during the semester, he wanted to drop out and even stopped going to school for several days in a row.
"I had started comparing myself to people and I was distraught about my living situation and I thought I wanted to quit but I got back on the right path," said Franklin.
As the oldest child, Franklin works at a local convenience store to help out his mother, who is a single parent and two younger brothers. He moved to Phenix City from Union Springs, Ala. four years ago to start a new life. Franklin says many times he didn't have a phone or transportation to get around. With school and the added pressures of everyday life, LaMarieous persevered to be among the 2015 graduating class.
"I felt like I sacrificed my education for things that didn't really matter, like having a car or a job and a phone. I feel like if I had focused more on my education, I probably wouldn't have been as sad as I about my grades dropping," Franklin added.
Through it all, his mom has been part of his support system these last few months, even though he didn't want to burden her with his thoughts of wanting to leave school.
"Even though she can't buy me the things that I want, she does a lot to motivate me, she tells me she's proud of me and all that type of stuff," said Franklin.
And in a few days, LaMarieous Franklin will graduate and start taking college summer classes on Monday.
"I want to major in accounting, finance, or economics. I hope to take advantage of clubs and organizations," said Franklin.
Franklin will attend the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa with several scholarships, financial aid from the state and help from supporters in the community.
A gofundme account was set up for LaMarieous Franklin for financial assistance. The goal was $1,000. So far his account has already passed that amount.
Franklin will graduate from Central High School Friday at 7:30 at Garrett Harrison stadium.