Griffin grew up in Louisville, Kentucky where he enjoyed playing catch with his older brother in the alleyways of downtown, racing kids at the local park, and attending Kentucky Derby parties. But after a series of unfortunate events, he spent his childhood living on friends' couches, hotels, and homeless shelters after losing his mother to cancer at the age of six years old. Despite the obstacles, Griffin persevered and graduated top of his high school class.
After being coined the "Homeless Valedictorian" in a viral news story in 2014, Griffin realized the power of his message and began writing his life story during his freshman year of college to inspire others.
His creative outlet was developed early in middle school, where he enjoyed writing poetry and acting. Griffin fell in love with the intricacies of rhyme scheme, wordplay, cadence, and rhythm. Writing lyrics and poetry was like a puzzle, which sparked his curiosity to want to create more.
Today, Griffin works as a full-time civil engineer and continues to write in his free time. A couple of his main goals are to travel to schools to inspire students and fund a scholarship endowment from a portion of his book proceeds to help other homeless students.
2014: Homeless Valedictorian Goes Viral
Despite spending his childhood as a homeless student, Griffin Furlong defied the odds by graduating valedictorian of his high school.
His main message: Never give up.
2018: Griffin Graduates College
Griffin earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at Florida State University with Magna Cum Laude honors. His love for algebra, calculus, and problem-solving in high-school led him to become an engineer.
"If a student opens, reads, and applies every principle in this book, they'll create the world in which they dream."
2020-2022: Griffin's First Book
Griffin has spent the last few years of his life writing a book, which he plans to self-publish in 2022. He began writing in college, but more as a creative outlet. In the year 2020, Griffin compiled his writings and fostered the vision of publishing his own book.
At first, he struggled to find his main audience and purpose, which caused multiple rewrites and edits. But Griffin found direction and steered his focus toward students, with hopes of inspiring a young generation to grow their perspective and mindset.