Student. Homeless. Cheerleader. Prom Queen. Graduate.

At 16, Destyni Tyree has gone through a lot. Living with her family at the DC homeless shelter, she hasn’t had what some may think of as a typical high school experience but she made the most of her experience.

Sister. Daughter. Friend. Classmate. Hard-worker. Inspiration.

Instead of letting any one experience or label define her, she used her circumstances to motivate her.

“I don’t want to live in a shelter when I get older. I want to better my life, so that gave me the drive to do what I want to do.”

She held down a job, took extra classes to graduate high school two years early – with a 4.0 GPA. She worked hard and it paid off. Destyni received a scholarship to Potomac State College of West Virginia University in August and wants to be principal one day.

Her advice to other homeless teens, or those going through a tough time?

“It gets better. If you work hard enough, if you have that drive, if you have that motivation, it gets a lot better.”