RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A student from East Wake High School is continuing to add on to her academic honors.
Thursday, Gov. Roy Cooper presented Megan Faircloth with the “Governor’s Student Excellence Award.”
The honors student spent most of her junior and senior year homeless, but she pushed forward getting a 5.25 grade point average while taking seven AP courses. East Wake’s principal reports Faircloth was one of nearly 50 students who were without a home.
“It’s just so unreal because I never expected our lives to turn around in this way,” Faircloth said. “There are kids that go to school every day without food and they’re physically and emotionally exhausted. By doing this, I wanted to – by trying so hard, I wanted kids to know the obstacles they face- no matter how impossible they seem to overcome – you can overcome them. I also wanted people to know that this is the kind of thing people go through in life.”
When discussing Faircloth’s hardship, Cooper said the teenager has been an excellent example of determination for students and for the community. He also spoke to a larger issue that she and hundreds of other North Carolinians have faced and still face today.
“What we need to make sure we concentrate on, number one, good public schools that can help these students in a holistic way, but also the problem of affordable housing, not only in our rural areas but in our urban areas,” he explained.
The award recipient was later emotional in a short speech, noting that when she and her family were in the middle of their crisis, “the world seemed bleak.” But Thursday, she had a hopeful message for others who may be struggling as she once was.
“Never let anyone make you feel like you’re nothing because you’re worth comes from who you are inside and don’t let anyone tell you anything about yourself because it’s your journey and your life belongs to you,” said the Wendell resident, who has recently found housing stability.
Faircloth believes her future is bright and several full scholarship offers would point to that destiny. She will head to California in the Fall where she’ll attend Stanford University to study English and Education with plans to become a teacher.