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Student Who Began College With Parents in Prison Helps Freshmen Without Family Settle In


Moving into a college dorm for the first time is never an easy or simple process — especially for students who don't have parents to support their journey.

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That's why John Hunt Jr., who was raised in the foster care system, decided to surprise incoming freshmen at Fresno State who didn't have family members joining them on the next chapter of their lives.

"When I first got here, I was moving in by myself. Seeing all the other students have their family's support moving in, I definitely wanted to have that myself," said Hunt, who is beginning his master's degree at Fresno State. "Having [my guardians] in prison definitely added to that sadness."

As he watched his classmate go shopping for dorm room decorations with their parents on his first week at Fresno State, he remembered going to bed without a pillow.

"How are you going to be able to pack up your stuff to get to your dorms?" Hunt said. "Who's going to help you load and unload?"

But, he remembers being adopted by the Renaissance Scholars, a community providing resources to formerly fostered youth, unaccompanied minors and homeless teens, and decided to give back himself.

In a video by Kleenex, Hunt can be seen presenting a group of freshman who were once homeless or in foster care with essentials any college freshman needs.

"I'm not used to getting stuff like this," said one of the students, who later explained she used to be homeless. "We were excited over things like toilet paper so it shows you how much it means to us."

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And, as a final touch to make their school feel like their new home, Hunt and his team even decorated their dorm rooms using pillows, blankets and white boards.

"The transition is a difficult," Hunt told InsideEdition.com. "I'm a foster kid myself so I felt the need and desire to give back. This is my way of doing so."

Watch: Once-Homeless Man Graduates College With 3.2 GPA, Now Wants to Help Others