A formerly homeless Houston teenager whose inspirational story touched the hearts of many area residents has graduated as the valedictorian of his class.

Victor Cardenas and his fellow Furr High School classmates gathered for their commencement ceremony at Barnett Field House on Saturday.

Cardenas’ journey was a long one. His mother abandoned him when he was just 13, and he had nowhere to stay.

Fortunately, friends took him in.

“I never thought this day would happen, because a lot of times I felt like giving up. And so being here, living the moment – it’s something else that I can’t really explain,” Cardenas said.

He earned a full scholarship to Texas A&M, where he plans to start studying biochemistry in the fall.

Congratulations to the class of 2010!