High school is a difficult time for many teens. Between the homework, college applications, friendships, relationships, and everything else associated with being a teen, it’s rough.
After losing both of his parents, and their home, Kaustov Chakrabarti struggled. In fact, he struggled so much that he almost considered dropping out, but thanks to a mentor with a similar background he pushed through.
He recently received his high school diploma alongside his Parkview High School classmates.
When Kaustov was only 14 years old, his father, Satyam, was diagnosed with brain cancer and died. The following year his mother, Kumkum, was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. Almost two years after Satyam passed away, Kumkum passed away.
“It was one of the most devastating moments of my life,” Kaustov told 11Alive. “I didn’t know what I was going to do. I was in depression, and I didn’t have anyone to talk to.”
After his parents’ deaths he was unable to continue living in their apartment. He became homeless and lived with friends until he was able to move in with relatives.
He strongly considered dropping out of school, but instead Kaustov became even more involved in school and started waking up three hours early in order to study and bring his grades back up.
“If you wake up early, you get a head start. By waking up three hours earlier, I was faster than what life wanted me to be,” he told Gwinnett Daily Post.
In addition to joining the football team, something he said his mother never let him do, he signed up for a mentor through Stand Up For Kids.
The teen was paired with Deanna Simmons, whose mother died when she was 19 years old.
“I was in nursing school when she died of cancer. My classmates didn’t know how to talk to me about it – and I’m sure he experienced the same thing – they don’t know what to say,” she said. “And it was really hard on me. I felt alone, and I’m sure he did too.”
The two formed a special bond over the course of Kaustov’s junior and senior years of high school.
“She gave me meaning in my life,” Kaustov said. “I just want her to know that I will be successful, and she’s the reason behind it.”
Finally, after many, many early mornings Kaustov accomplished something that he wasn’t always positive he’d achieve. He graduated high school.
According to 11Alive, he will attend the University of Georgia in the fall where he’ll study to become a neurosurgeon.
Kaustov Chakrabarti suffered tremendous loss at an incredibly important time in his life. There was a point when he didn’t feel like continuing with his education.
Rather than dropping out of school, Kaustov dug deeper into his studies and found himself a mentor who gave meaning to his life.
Share this story to congratulate Kaustov and wish him well as he starts college in the fall!