For the last two years, Rashema Melson, her mother and two siblings have been living in a D.C homeless shelter. But that hasn’t stopped Rashema when achieving her educational goals.
The Anacostia High School senior has a 4.0 GPA and just earned a scholarship to Georgetown University.
“I feel accomplished,” she told My Fox DC. “I feel I did something worthy. I feel like I did it. But I’m not done yet.”
“She is definitely a success story,” said Dora Taylor, a spokesperson with the D.C. Department of Human Services. “As you can see, she has no complaints. Nothing depresses her. Seemingly nothing brings her down. And she has the right attitude. You know, she expressed to you that she’s grateful despite her circumstance,” Taylor said.
“I think the toughest part is just moving around before we got to the shelter,” said Rashema. “Because it’s been going on for six years.”
Where Rashema has found her footing is in her sports, books and her studies.
“It’s not hard for me because I want it,” she said. “Like when you don’t want it and you’re just doing it because you have to, it’s like a struggle. But I want to be successful and this is what I want. And that’s my goal in life — to like be successful.”
Rashema plans to be a biology major, going pre-med, and wants to be a forensic pathologist. She is inspired by her father’s murder when she was just a baby.
“I just want to know so much about him,” Rashema said. “Growing up not having a dad, as a female, it’s a really tough thing. You have to learn to love yourself.”
“And just because there’s not an older man in your life to be that dad, you have to just get that from your mom. I wish I had a dad. I think about him a lot.”