A North Texas teenager is focusing on getting an education so he can have a better life.
Joshua Reddick, 18, has been an inspiration to those who know him. He recently graduated from Haltom High School, at the top of his class, but walking across that stage with honors and a 4.0 GPA didn’t come easy.
Born in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where he lived until he was only 6-years-old, Reddick and his family have been on quite a journey.
“A lot of people are shocked by my situation,” he said.
Reddick — along with his father, younger brother and sister — have gone from home to home, hotel to motel, more times than he can count since he was in the fifth grade. They’ve lived in almost every motel in Haltom City.
“From the outside looking in, it's like: 'Oh, it's some homeless kid that's, like, going to school and everything, and he's struggling day by day to survive,," he said. "It's been like that, but I've been doing this for seven, eight years now.”
Homeless, yet full of hope. Reddick’s dreams go far beyond the doors of Haltom High School.
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Reddick’s mother was deported to Mexico 11 years ago. But Reddick’s motivation and selfless attitude pushed him forward to create a better life for himself and his family.
“I'm unique in the fact that not everyone has the mindset that I have," he said. "Not everyone has the determination and the drive to do and push through what they're in.”
Living at what Reddick called home was chaotic, with four people living in a small motel room. He filled his schedule with challenging Advanced Placement courses and did as much as he could to keep his mind off his situation. The only quiet place to study, was inside the bathroom.
“I'm a firm believer in it's not about the situation you're in, it's about what you make of your situation," he said. "If not, then your situation is just going to beat you down."
Reddick is also a strong believer that getting an education will lead him to a new life. He’s doing what he does now so he doesn’t have to live the way he’s lived for so long, ever again.
“No one is going to deter me from my path,” he said.
Reddick is literally shooting for the stars. He has dreams of becoming an astronaut and plans to go to the University of Texas to study Aerospace Engineering.
Reddick and his family are also planning a trip to Mexico City to see his mother for the first time in over a decade this summer.
He’s living with one of his friends as he prepares for college, but said he stays in touch with his family who still lives in a Haltom City motel.
This story, first published June 12, garnered national attention with people across the country asking how to step in and help.
Donations can be made to the Joshua Reddick Donation Fund at any Wells Fargo bank. Checks can also be made out to the Joshua Reddick Education Trust and sent to Haltom High School.