Teen in Poverty Walked Daily 3 Miles to Library, Accepted to 12 Colleges

By Michael W. Chapman | April 23, 2020 | 4:58pm EDT
Lashawn Samuel.  (Screenshot, NBC4)
Lashawn Samuel. (Screenshot, NBC4)

A young man who grew up in poverty, suffered from health issues, lost a friend to gang violence, and walked three miles every day to study at the library has been accepted by 12 colleges so far, some offering full scholarships. 

The teen, Lashawn Samuel, is from Columbus, Ohio. He said he never would have made it this far without God and his family. 

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

As reported by NBC4 and,  while in eighth grade, Samuel started walking to the Columbus Metropolitan Library, "where he would sign in to the Homework Help Center at 3:00 p.m., work until the center closed, and then walk back home. Sometimes he walked home in the dark to his Section 8 housing."

Kelly Young, who works at the Homework Help Center, said, "The kid has tremendous perseverance and he just keeps going. During a time like this, when we are all facing such uncertainty, I think Lashawn's story can really teach us. Using the resources that are around us in our community and depending on each other, that's just the way that we can all get through this pandemic and all the uncertainty of what lies ahead."

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Samuel has been accepted to 12 colleges and reportedly plans on attending Ohio State University's Fisher College of Business.  OSU has offered him a scholarship, said NBC4.

Commenting on his situation, Samuel said, "I never would have achieved it without God, my family, my friends and this environment I have around me."

"There's always going to be a challenge or an obstacle that you're going to have to overcome or grow out of," he said.  "But as long as you keep true to yourself and have faith and persevere so that you can overcome it, then you will."

Samuel is the first person in his family to go to college, reported NBC4. 

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