LA teen beats the odds, heads to West Point

April 9, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A Los Angeles teenager who seemed to have everything stacked against him has beaten the odds and is heading off to West Point on a full scholarship.

Tykie Nelworth accepted praise and gifts at his school Thursday. He has a 4.2 GPA, he is captain of his school's football team and class president, but he is also occasionally homeless.

Nelworth's father is dead, his mother is in prison.. And he has bounced in and out of foster care.

"I try not to use the obstacles in my life as excuses to not do, I'd rather use them as reasons to do better," Nelworth said.

Community donations are helping Nelworth's future. He received plane fare to get to West Point, money to pay for advanced placement tests and even prom tickets.

Nelworth says he wants to study engineering.