ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Davion Only-Going was in and out of foster homes for 17 years until a dedicated caseworker adopted him.
In 2013, his story made national headlines after he pleaded for a family at a church in St. Pete.
He was adopted at the age of 15 in 2015.
Only-Going shared his story with high school graduates on Tuesday night.
These high school graduates did not attend traditional high school but earned a traditional diploma. They enrolled in a public charter school called MYcroSchool Pinellas.
"I don’t know you individually, but I know you’ve been through your own trials and tribulations to get where you are. I want to say this is the first step," he tells graduates.
More than 500 students have graduated since the school opened 9 years ago.
Only-Going graduated from MYcroSchool Pinellas in 2018. He received a scholarship to the Culinary Institute of America.
He returned to St. Pete for an internship at RumFish on St. Pete Beach.
He said he wants to become a chef and open his own restaurant.
"You learn every day on the job so I really want to get out there, work with different chefs who have experience in the industry and to mentor me," he said.
"Don’t give up, you can do anything you put your mind to, you're your own worst enemy. I focus on the present, that’s what matters today, what am I doing today? What am I going to do tomorrow? How can I be a better person?"