Once homeless, UCF grad student to graduate at top of her class

Krishanna Newton, 27, plans to help others in foster care

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Krishanna  Newton, 27, overcame homelessness and spent years in foster care to arrive at the moment she has been waiting for this Saturday, when she crosses the graduation stage at the University of Central Florida. 

Newton said she's blessed to walk down the aisle once again at UCF, this time to get her Master of Science degree in urban and regional planning.
"I really didn’t know what to do with myself after foster care," Newton said. "I actually found a second home here at UCF."

Newton spent a portion of her childhood in foster care. She said her mother was never really around and that her father and grandmother died when she was a teenager.

When Newton graduated high school, she started her university education at UCF, but said during that time she was homeless for a while.

On Saturday, she'll be graduating at the top of her class with a 4.0 GPA.  

Newton said she wants to raise awareness about how her foster care experience inspired her to graduate from college. She said she wants to continue helping foster kids and homeless children see their full potential. 

"I think that’s what made me the go getter that I am today, to say 'Let me take initiative and advocate for people like myself,'" Newton said.

She’s spent her time at UCF mentoring foster youth and working with faculty and staff to try getting more funding for kids who come from foster backgrounds.

Newton told News 6 her foster family, in addition to her mentors and peers at UCF, helped her accomplish her goals. 

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