Homeless highschooler overwhelmed by reaction

Homeless highschooler overwhelmed by reaction
Victoria Cuba
Victoria Cuba

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Victoria Cuba's story of homelessness touched a nerve with people. Perhaps it's because she wasn't after sympathy.

"The reason I told my story wasn't to get the attention. It was to share my story," she said.

Victoria, her brother and mother have lived on the street for a year. It's the second time they have been homeless. Victoria's room is the back of a pickup truck. Viewers reacted to her honesty with job offers for her mom, housing assistance, and personal notes on Victoria's Facebook page.

"Somebody said, 'I feel helpless. I can't do anything for you.' I said, 'You're not helpless. You're helping me by giving me these encouraging words.' That's all I want," she said.

There are more than 2,400 homeless students in Hawaii's public schools. Victoria is one of several at Waipahu High School. Vice principal Alvan Fukuhara said Victoria telling her story has had a ripple effect.

"What's awesome is people that want to help, they're asking, 'How can we help Victoria?' But also, 'How can we help other students at Waipahu High School?'" he said.

"It shows that Hawaii just has a lot of good people out there who want to help," Victoria said.

Many people called Waipahu High school offering to help pay for her college tuition. The school has started a scholarship fund.

"Write a money order or a cashier's check to Waipahu High School. Somewhere on there, write Care of Victoria Cuba Scholarship," Fukuhara said.

Victoria graduates on May 27. She plans to attend the University of Hawaii in the fall. She is overwhelmed by the outpouring of aloha.

"I wish there was some way I could thank them back," she said. "I can't financially now. But I will in the future."

Victoria didn't think her personal story of homelessness and hope would generate much interest. Judging by the response, it's clear that it opened a lot of eyes.

Related Link:

A Lesson in Hope: Homeless student works to inspire others

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