High school student pays for college by selling papers

In Memphis, a city sometimes filled with crime, violence and negativity, there are several shining lights serving as beacons of hope for those caught up in the daily struggle of life.

"I just stay away from the negativity and always be positive," said 17-year-old Kevuntez King.

King started selling newspapers on a street corner when he was only 12-years-old with the goal of one day going to college and paying for it himself. Now, the teen is about to graduate.

Growing up, King said he was raised in a single parent home with just his mother. He said it was her influence that would shape the rest of his life.

"She just taught me how to be independent," he said.

For the last five years he's been selling newspapers. His goal was to make enough money so he could not just go to college, but also pay for it.

"When it came down to school my mom didn't have to come out of pocket to do anything or I didn't have to take out any loans to go to school."

King has gained many fans who praise his attitude and work ethic. They've become some of his biggest business supporters as he sells papers on an east Memphis intersection each week.

Meanwhile, King has gotten straight A's in school and participates in a number of extracurricular activities.

"I golf, I play tennis, I also swim," he said. "I played baseball and basketball."

King, who has earned roughly $200 each Sunday for the last five years, was accepted to Tennessee State University in Nashville.

"Make sure you surround yourself with people that's trying to go up in life and not trying to bring you down," King said. "Just stay positive and always believe in yourself and push forward."