SEVERE WX : Air Stagnation Advisory - Winter Weather Advisory View Alerts

Illinois Valley High School senior defies the odds

According to the organization Education Leads Home, only half of homeless high schoolers in Oregon actually graduate. Illinois Valley High School senior Cullen Beery beat those odds when he walked across the stage during Tuesday’s graduation ceremony.

Posted: Jun 5, 2019 11:32 PM

CAVE JUNCTION, Ore. -- According to the organization Education Leads Home, only half of homeless high schoolers in Oregon actually graduate. Illinois Valley High School senior Cullen Beery beat those odds when he walked across the stage during Tuesday’s graduation ceremony. About five years ago, Cullen Beery moved with his grandma from Minnesota to Cave Junction. He’s been living with a friend’s family that graciously took him in for the last three years.

"They just kind of like adopted me. They've helped me out a lot,” Beery said.

He told NewsWatch 12 he knew but also didn’t know that he’d be able to call himself a high school graduate.

“I just wanted to drop out,” added Beery. “I was just done with high school, I didn't want to stay. It was just not for me."

"I can remember as a freshman and sophomore I’d invite him to my office. I’d ask him to sit down and take a break,” said Illinois Valley High School Principal Tanner Smith. “He didn't want to be in school, didn't understand the point of it, didn't think he'd ever finish. Then he wondered what he'd do after high school and why that mattered.”

Beery said Principal Smith told him he’d be able to get jobs a lot easier with a high school diploma than without so he decided to push through.

Beery’s love for track gave him even more motivation. This year he made it all the way to the state championship meet. Now running is giving him an opportunity to earn more than a high school diploma. This fall he’ll be running track for the Colleges of the Siskiyous and working toward a degree in Art. Principal Smith and the IVHS track coach took him to see the campus.

“Having everybody there is just pretty awesome because they all support me and expect me good things from me,” Beery said.
His friend’s family and Principal Smith said he’s making it all on his own, just with an extra push.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 67333

Reported Deaths: 847
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah15386224
Washington922298
Marion8548131
Clackamas557477
Umatilla419048
Lane395337
Jackson349024
Malheur233539
Deschutes199814
Yamhill160416
Linn129619
Polk110615
Douglas84017
Jefferson78611
Benton7357
Union7203
Klamath7014
Morrow6307
Lincoln58813
Wasco48818
Josephine4544
Columbia4453
Coos3961
Hood River3721
Clatsop3420
Baker2663
Crook2016
Grant1271
Tillamook1130
Curry1122
Lake1090
Harney891
Wallowa703
Sherman230
Gilliam210
Wheeler30
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1145209

Reported Deaths: 18862
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles3741347497
San Bernardino875421129
Riverside821751417
San Diego74361984
Orange719531556
Kern39437445
Fresno36688477
Sacramento34186550
Santa Clara31603467
Alameda27857499
San Joaquin24804504
Contra Costa22747258
Stanislaus20932420
Tulare19882304
Ventura18480175
Imperial15568355
San Francisco14662158
Monterey14265115
San Mateo13561170
Sonoma11608155
Merced11388179
Santa Barbara10944133
Kings1025987
Solano974581
Marin7596129
Placer614868
Madera593883
San Luis Obispo581135
Shasta447043
Yolo436374
Santa Cruz400328
Butte376559
Sutter294814
Napa281117
El Dorado20184
Yuba186610
San Benito176716
Lassen17153
Tehama152623
Mendocino144122
Nevada11319
Glenn8537
Lake84519
Tuolumne8068
Humboldt8019
Colusa6636
Siskiyou5652
Mono5073
Amador45716
Calaveras43421
Del Norte2961
Inyo28016
Plumas1810
Trinity1240
Mariposa1202
Modoc1180
Alpine420
Sierra190
Unassigned00
Medford
Broken Clouds
45° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 45°
Brookings
Clear
42° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 42°
Crater Lake
Clear
28° wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 28°
Grants Pass
Overcast
41° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 41°
Klamath Falls
Clear
28° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 22°
Feels Like: 28°
Drying out for Thanksgiving
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events