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WSB-TV

ATLANTA – Some high school seniors are getting honored for their hard work with help for college — but there’s a heartwrenching twist to the story:

The top three students at Maynard Jackson High school are all homeless, according to the principal.

Valedictorian Rebecca Schmitt, salutatorian Daniel Hamm and honorable mention Jakobi Horn are three of nearly 1,800 homeless students in metro Atlanta.

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“With all the support that we have from our environment, our community, despite the financial hardship you’re able to thrive if you really put your mind to it,” Schmitt said.

chmitt said she was accepted into some of the top universities in the country.

“Spelman College, Georgia Tech, Washington University in St. Louis, Northwestern University and Duke University,” Schmitt said.

The school system, along with Kroger’s Glenwood location, presented the students with scholarships and gift cards at the STAR students and Teachers Awards Ceremony at the Georgia Power Auditorium.

These students were selected at the end of the first semester of their senior year.

“Just recognition from Kroger, it makes my day a lot brighter just to know they care for me and they care for my family,” Hamm said.

The Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program honors Georgia’s outstanding high school seniors and the teachers who have been most instrumental in their academic development.

Schmitt, as valedictorian, received a $1,000 scholarship and a $250 Kroger gift card. Hamm, school salutatorian, received a $500 scholarship and $100 Kroger gift card. Horn also received a $500 scholarship and $100 Kroger gift card.

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