Louisiana High School Student Who Lives in Homeless Shelter Graduates as Valedictorian


June 10, 2024

Elijah Hogan, a 19-year-old student from Louisiana, has defied incredible odds to graduate as the valedictorian of Walter L. Cohen High School in New Orleans, boasting a remarkable 3.93 GPA. Despite facing homelessness for the past year and a half, Hogan maintained his academic excellence, earning the highest GPA in his class.

Hogan’s journey has been marked by significant challenges, including the loss of his mother at a young age and the expiration of his grandmother’s house lease, which left him without a permanent home. Choosing to live independently to ease his grandmother’s burden, Hogan found refuge at the Covenant House, a shelter for homeless youth.

In his graduation speech on May 24th, Hogan commended his classmates for their resilience through the pandemic and various personal hardships. “Take pride in how far you have come. Have faith in how far you can go. But don’t forget to enjoy your journey,” he said.


Looking ahead, Hogan plans to attend Xavier University of Louisiana to pursue a degree in graphic design with some tuition assistance.

If you are interested in helping Elijah prepare for his first year of college, you can visit bit.ly/elijahgofundme to donate to his GoFundMe campaign or to bit.ly/supportelijah to purchase items for his dorm room wishlist. Donations are also being accepted at Covenant House New Orleans, 611 North Rampart Street, New Orleans, LA 70112.


Cover photo: Louisiana High School Student Who Lived in Homeless Shelter Graduates as Valedictorian/Photo Credit: Kewe Ukpolo/Associated Press

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