Former Homeless Teen Graduating On Dean’s List – GNSOTD Wed, May 20th 2020

With the COVID-19 Pandemic still wreaking havoc on the world, millions are at risk or are facing homelessness, as this has an impact on not just health, but also the economy. But for those in that position, or others worried about them, there is hope. It can be exemplified in learning about Autumn Hope Johnson.

Autumn, formerly known as Arrielle Metzger, knows first-hand what these people are going through. Her family became homeless after the great recession in 2008. Johnson and her younger brother were two of the 16 million children living in poverty after the Great Recession. Their mother died when they were young, and their father had lost the family house in Seminole County, Florida. They soon found themselves living out of a yellow delivery truck.

They were lucky enough to be featured in a 2011 60 minutes interview; “It’s an adventure,” Johnson said. “I mean, it’s only life. You do what you need to do, right?” A beautiful attitude and apparently one that came from hope. “It came from hope for a better future,” she later said. Perhaps it was that attitude, or perhaps it was just being made known to the world but everything changed for them in that moment.

Minutes after the interview aired; people in their community were coming to where they were and giving them needed items. Within days the President of Stetson University got in contact to offer Autumn a full scholarship to the university.

It would take a number of years, and a tenure in foster care and adoption before things started to improve and Autumn eventually was able to apply for that scholarship. And even then there was more time, and a lot of hard work, for it to pay off. But now; 9 years later, Autumn is graduating the University on the Dean’s List and has plans to go on to law school. “There are times where I look back, and I’m like, ‘I shouldn’t even be here,'” Johnson said. “But I know that this is a gift, and I’ve learned to accept gifts, and I’m thankful for it.”

And there is so much more to learn about Autumn’s story! You can find it in your Good News Story of the Day, here. But there is one important thing to take away from this tale, something Johnson herself wants people to know: the lesson in her story is that homelessness is not the same as hopelessness and that education really is a ticket out. Something we learn again and again in bringing you your Good News Story of the Day.

Story and Image from CBS News.

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