Obama Honors Baltimore Native in Commencement Speech

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Leland Shelton is the one who looks like he's just been mentioned in a speech by the president of the United States.
Leland Shelton is the one who looks like he’s just been mentioned in a speech by the president of the United States.

Leland Shelton has an inspiring biographical abstract. The Baltimore native was taken away from his mother at age four to live with his grandparents before entering the foster care system at 14. And yet, here he is, graduating from the prestigious Morehouse College and headed to Harvard Law School, and all with an eye toward helping keep foster-care kids from “fall[ing] through the cracks.”

But I wouldn’t know any of that about Shelton had President Barack Obama not recounted it in the keynote address he delivered at Morehouse commencement on Sunday.

The shout-out was a surprise to Shelton, who had no inkling the president was even aware of his story and so couldn’t have guessed he would figure personally in the speech.

The graduate described his shock to CBS Baltimore: “I knew if I started crying, my family wouldn’t be able to take it.”

Click here to view video of the Leland Shelton portion of the president’s address.



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