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Despite homelessness, troubled family, Rancho HS student defies odds

Posted at 6:35 PM, Jan 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-24 22:38:28-05

A Rancho High School senior is defying some incredible odds.

Not only is he succeeding in school - he just received one of the nation's largest scholarships, even without having a home.

"The first 14  years of my life I was lost. But I decided that when I was 16, when I bought my first car, that I was per se in the driver seat. I had control finally. And that I can end up in where I wanted to be," says Sebastian Crawford.

Crawford came from a troubled family. He doesn't have a home of his own and has to work full time to support himself as he goes to school.

"When stress looks me in the face, I look it right back down, and I see that I can tackle this problem."

Despite living a hard life, he worked to give himself a chance at reaching his dream of becoming an aerospace engineer.

Because college is so expensive, it seemed impossible to push through. Until he found out he'd receive $25,000.

"I jumped on to my chair. It was sort of like a Tom Cruise moment when he jumps on the couch out of nowhere," says Crawford. 

It's all made possible through the Horatio Alger National Scholarship Program. 

He is one of 106 students nationwide to receive such an honor - and the only student in Nevada to receive the scholarship.

Rancho High School's principal, James Kuzma, hopes Sebastian's story of perseverance will inspire other students.

"They'll start asking the question, 'What scholarships can I apply for?' So I do expect our college career center will probably get more visitors," says Kuzma.

Crawford's dream of reaching for the stars once seemed impossible. But here's one thing you should learn from him:

"You have to eliminate the I can't do it attitude. That's the most important thing. When you realize that you can move on."