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From Being Homeless to Graduating As Overall Best Student, Story of Elijah Hogan

Elijah Hogan resided at Covenant House, a homeless shelter while attending Walter L. Cohen High School in New Orleans.

Elijah Hogan resided at Covenant House, a homeless shelter, while attending Walter L. Cohen High School in New Orleans.

Graduating with a 3.89 GPA, he will attend Xavier University on a scholarship this fall. “You are the bulldozer that could break your limitations,” he told PEOPLE. Elijah Hogan, 19, never imagined graduating high school, let alone as valedictorian.

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Reflecting on his achievement a week after his graduation on May 24, he said, “I outplayed myself.” Despite living at Covenant House for over a year, Hogan excelled academically at Walter L. Cohen High School.

During his graduation speech, he emphasized perseverance: “Above all the trials, tests, and hardships, what led us here is that we all set a goal to reach.

Each individual on this stage has proven themselves to be able to move into the next stage of evolution. Take pride in how far you have come. Have faith in how far you can go. But don’t forget to enjoy your journey.”

Born in New Orleans, Hogan spent his childhood between there and Houston, with three siblings. When his grandmother’s lease expired, his living situation became unstable.

She introduced him to Covenant House, encouraging him to continue his education. Hogan credits the shelter for supporting him through high school.

“It wasn’t an easy journey,” he admitted, highlighting the difficulty of fitting in and trusting others. However, the support from the shelter and school helped him gradually open up and succeed academically.

His case manager, Jarkayla Cobb, recognized his potential early on. “I thought he was a genius,” she said, proud to attend his graduation.

Hogan will major in graphic design at Xavier University, aspiring to publish his first comic book. His advice to others facing similar challenges: “You are the bulldozer that could break your limitations. Keep pushing forward without any doubts.”

READ ALSO: Khadija University Majia Scholarship Screening For Successful Applicants 2024


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