Student Left to Die at Birth Graduates from Florida A&M

Nick Young, 22, and his mother Dorothy Young

Nick Young, 22, graduates Saturday, April 28 from Florida A&M with a bachelors degree in social work and a 3.35 grade point average. To his family and friends, Young has a knack for being witty and making hilarious observations, NBC 5 reports.

But the man who was once known as “Baby Sam” in South Florida had rough beginnings. A newborn with his umbilical cord still attached, Young was left to die in a Martin County orange grove near an anthill, NBC 5 reports.

The physical and emotional scars remain to this day. With the help of his foster family, Young was able to triumph life’s obstacles to achieve many accomplishments.

A woman may have abandoned young Nick, but his “mother” discovered him as she was watching the news and Baby Sam’s story appeared, according to NBC 5. Dorothy Young reportedly ran and told her husband Carl infant on the television screen was her “baby.”

Baby Sam reportedly came to live with the Youngs at six weeks old. He was later adopted when he was 2.

A Christian family, Dorothy chose to name Baby Sam Nicholas Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.”

Despite Baby Sam’s physical condition, Ms. Young cared for him as if he were her own. She had a child prior to Nick whose name is Tunesia and was 12 at the time.

Ants had eaten away at Nick’s face when he was left near the anthill.

“My right nostril, it was smaller than my left because the ants had eaten it down,” Nick Young told WCTV.

When he was discovered, the ant bites caused his entire face to swell. Though ant bite rash eventually healed, pockmarks still covered his face.

Despite his circumstance, the 22-year-old has high goals he has set for himself. He plans to attain his master’s degree and become a high school guidance counselor and help youth in need, WCTV reports.

“I want to help guide the youth in what I believe is the most vulnerable time in your life — high school,” he said.

Watch video of FAMU’s graduation below