Homeless Akron teen living in the woods graduates high school receives over $10k in donations and finds home

Updated: May. 11, 2020 at 10:37 AM EDT
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AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) - 19 News has an amazing update to share with anyone who has been following the story of the Akron teen who has been living in the woods while trying to graduate high school.

The teen has finally found a home, received over $10,000 thousand in donations, and graduated high school.

A small group of women is also trying to help the teen and plan on mentoring her.

19 News had a chance to catch up with the teen on Friday and she shared her incredible story.

Her entire story will be on air Wednesday at 9 a.m.

Ohio has more than 25,000 students who are homeless.

It was a crisis before the coronavirus pandemic.

When schools were open, students could get a meal, have access to the internet, and get a break from a harsh life of uncertainty.

But schools have been closed since March 17, and the most vulnerable children are falling through the cracks.

One teen is trying her best to graduate and fight through the hard conditions of being homeless.

19 News wants to show the harsh reality of what it is like for this girl trying to graduate while living in the woods.

The student didn’t want to talk on camera but she did tell us about her situation. It was clear that her perseverance, determination, and sheer will is helping her get through such a tough time.

The teen said that she does have a computer and she walks anywhere she can to get a wi-fi reception, in order to do school work.

She also explained that her story isn’t unique and that she is only one of the thousands of students fighting through homelessness to accomplish the goals they set for themselves.

There are 1,800 students in the Akron public school district experiencing homelessness. Most of them “couch surfing,” going from place to place.

Project Rise is a program in the Akron public school district to help students experiencing homelessness stay in school and on track.

The organization is trying to find these students and get them resources.

Project Rise clarified in this particular case the student turned 18 late last year, so she’s not considered a minor.

She’s still a teenager, living in the woods, trying her best to graduate.


You can donate to Project Rise to help homeless students in Akron Public Schools.

Monetary donations are used to meet the needs of the families that cannot be met with operating funds. In-kind donations are always needed as well. Most-needed items include:

  • School supplies
  • Hygiene products
  • New shoes, new socks, and underwear
  • Gift cards for food and gasoline

Please contact Rachel Breece at rbreece@apslearns.org or 330-761-2969 to make a monetary or in-kind donation to Project Rise.

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