Graduating Senior Beats Odds, Headed to College Despite Homelessness

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Angelina Solis, 17, is in the 2020 graduating class at Bryan Adams High School in Dallas ISD.

She is realizing her dream, despite her circumstances. Solis is homeless.

She will be only the second person in her family to graduate from high school. To take it a step further, she is headed to Texas A&M on a 4-year scholarship.

“We were always struggling growing up,” Solis said. “My mom was a single mom and she worked three jobs to try to support us. She did the best that she could, but we had to move around a lot. It was hard, though, because my mom got in an accident and got addicted to opioids.”

Just before her 11th-grade year was to start, she had moved to Indiana with her dad, but realized academically, she would be behind in credits. She knew that if she didn’t transfer back to Texas, she would have to repeat the 10th grade and that wasn’t good enough for Solis.

“I moved back to Texas and asked a friend could I stay with her,” she said.

Her mom was in close contact with those parents for Solis’ transition back to Bryan Adams High. Eventually, Solis ended up living with the grandmother of one of her classmates who took her in for the last two years of high school.

“I’m just thankful she did that for me,” she said.

Solis said she is excited about the next chapter of her life and the four-year scholarship that will help her realize her dreams to understand and stop the spread of viruses. It’s important to note, she chose that field of study before the coronavirus pandemic made its way across the world.

While she isn’t going to have the graduation she dreamed of, she said no one can take away her accomplishments to this point. Solis is finishing in the top 15 in her class.

“Your adversity shouldn’t change your goals in life. Always stay positive. It sounds cheese and corny. Thinking negatively is not going to get you anywhere in life. One bad day doesn’t mean you are going to have life,” Solis said. “My advice for anyone out there going through anything, especially through this pandemic, is just to stay positive. When God closes one door, he will open another.

Dallas ISD released the following statement.

"Bryan Adams High School offers Career and Technical Education through NAF Academies and a unique Leadership Academy program. Under this model, all students partake in a portfolio defense during their sophomore and senior year, where they speak about their leadership skills and academic achievements in front of a committee of educators and community leaders. Solis has been taking classes in the biomedical science pathway for the last four years."

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