(WJLA) - "I just want a home. I just want somewhere I can call mine. I want somewhere I can feel comfortable. I want my own shower..." says student Rashema Melson.
Rashema Melson, 18, lives with her mother and two brothers at the D.C. General Homeless Shelter, and dreams of a better life. For this, she sees education as the key.
"It's hard, I try to stay at school as long as I can," she says.
So much so that she is this year's valedictorian at Anacostia High School, and has just been offered a full scholarship to Georgetown University.
"I'm going to get into pre-med," says Melson. "I'm taking the route of becoming a forensic pathologist. I really want to be a medical examiner."
At Anacostia High, where she has been a student for the past two years, Melson is both a scholar and athlete who runs track and field. For those who know her story, she is an inspiration.
"It inspires me a lot because I know there's a lot of negativity around me, and just to see her and make me realize that I have to block everything out and just focus on myself," says classmate Dazhane Mathis.
Melson will give her speech as the valedictorian of Anacostia High School on Wednesday, but she won't have a lot of time to rest afterwards, as the grateful senior starts at Georgetown next month as part of the Community Scholars program.