Homeless California Teen Jeremiah Armstead Accepts Spot on Fisk University’s Basketball Team

Jeremiah Armstead at Fisk University. (Courtesy of Jeremiah Armstead)

A California teen who says he spent most of his high school years unhoused, beat the odds and begins his first semester of college at Fisk University, a historically Black college, where he was recently recruited to play basketball and pursue higher education.

“I’m not surprised Jeremiah is where he’s at today,” Armstead’s mother Mindy Brooks told ABC News. “I’m not surprised because he’s always been a good person.”

Jeremiah Armstead, 19, spent the past three years sleeping in cars and domestic violence shelters with his mother, brother and sister. He was staying at a friend’s house the morning he found out about his university acceptance.

“My mom called me. ‘Jay, you just got accepted into Fisk!’ and I’m checking my email …” Armstead told ABC News.

Jeremiah Armstead, right, is seen with mother Mindy Brooks in this undated family photo. (Courtesy Mindy Brooks)

His acceptance letter from the HBCU already included his student ID welcoming him into the class of 2026 — a moment he said made him feel “any type of adversity that I went through, for the most part, it motivated me and pushed me.”

Armstead said the road to Fisk wasn’t easy, but his family, coaches and leaders from organizations like We Educate Brilliant Minds and Sisters of Watts supported him as he juggled housing insecurity and staying on track for graduation.

“I was bringing smarts, of course, but it was hard to do that being homeless and juggling everything, like domestic violence situations, just stuff like that,” he said. “Living in a shelter, living in a car–it was hard to think, go to school, worry about my mom or my brother, my sister.”

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SOURCE: ABC News, Briana Alvarado and Kendall Ross