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Connecticut Homeless Student Keeps His Eyes on the Prize

By Catherine Groux
Posted February 03, 2013 10:00 AM

A Connecticut student will not allow homelessness to prevent him from earning a degree.
A Connecticut student will not allow homelessness to prevent him from earning a degree.

While it's difficult to put an exact number on how many homeless individuals are currently enrolled in associate's and bachelor's degree programs across the nation, many experts believe homelessness is a growing problem on college campuses. During the 2010-2011 school year, more than 33,000 students identified themselves as homeless when filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the Palm Beach Post reports, but the number of homeless degree seekers could be significantly higher.

One student who knows this all too well is Connecticut's Joseph Marini. In high school, Marini became homeless and was forced to overcome many obstacles, but he did not let it keep him from succeeding academically, the New Haven Independent reports. Showing his resilience and determination, Marini landed on the high school honor roll and was accepted to the University of New Haven (UNH) through its Outstanding High School Senior Program. Through the initiative, high-performing high school seniors can take college courses at UNH for free during the spring semester.

Although he is not sure how he will be able to afford it, Marini said he dreams of earning a bachelor's degree at the University of Connecticut. For now, however, he is just focused on doing well in his college courses and staying positive.

"Life has its ups and downs," Marini told the Independent. "I don't want to let my setbacks stop me from being who I am." 

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