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Despite broken home, one Michigan teen overcomes odds and preps for college

It's not every day that you read a story that inspires you, especially one that includes children facing violence and a broken home. But a story published this week in the Detroit Free Press does exactly that, telling the story of a teen boy who beat the odds. Photoblog brings you an excerpt of the compelling story including video, below.

Eric Seals / Detroit Free Press

Marcus Buggs, 18 of Ann Arbor, Michigan looks outside from a school bus.

David Jesse of the Detroit Free Press reports:

When he was just 9, Marcus Buggs became a man.
It's not that he wanted to. He had to.
Up until that point, he was living what he says was a typical childhood in Flint.
It wasn't the best environment. There were drug dealers and thieves -- the kind of place where you can get into trouble easily.
But Marcus had his family. Even if his father was dealing drugs and his mother had her own issues, they were around.
And then everything changed. It happened on his ninth birthday, the day he became a man.
Marcus watched his uncle shoot his dad, pumping a bullet into his chest.
He lost his father.
He lost his mother a few weeks later. Not to death, but to prison.
And right then, he lost his childhood.

Eric Seals/Detroit Free Press

Marcus Buggs, 18 of Ann Arbor takes time out from doing homework to play and get Fruit Loops fed to him by his sister as a second sister waits her turn.

The story describes how Marcus shouldered huge responsibility, caring for his four younger siblings while they bounced between foster homes and living with their grandparents. But he struggled too, acting up and getting kicked out of school. The Roberto Clemente Student Development Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., was his last chance at graduating, and that's where the downward spiral stopped with the help of school Principal Ben Edmondson who cared enough to get involved.

After the story published in the Detroit Free Press on Jan. 24, the response from educators and the public was strong. Universities are encouraging Buggs to apply to their schools. Readers have stepped forward to help in many ways. Read the original story about Marcus Buggs and an update on the young man's eventful week since the story published.