Rashema Melson, an Anacostia High School senior and resident of Washington D.C.’s largest homeless shelter, just earned a scholarship to Georgetown University.
“I feel accomplished,” she tells us. “I feel I did something worthy. I feel like I did it. But I’m not done yet.”
What makes Rashema’s story all the more remarkable is when you consider where she comes from. For the past two years, Rashema, her mother and two siblings have been living at the D.C. homeless shelter.
“It’s pushing me to be better, to know what I want in life, and to know this is not what I want, but I have to go through it for the moment,” she said.
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“She is definitely a success story,” said Dora Taylor, a spokesperson with the D.C. Department of Human Services. “She definitely is.”
The department oversees the shelter.
“As you can see, she has no complaints,” said Taylor. “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 circumstances.” “And she’s determined that she’s going to do you know exactly what she needs to do in life to be self-supportive on her own. So we are extremely proud of Rashema.” “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.”