MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Dellarontay Readus was in pain Wednesday.
"It's just that it hurts so much, I can't do anything else but cry," Readus told WREG.
The recent Melrose High School graduate lost his mother one month before starting classes on a full-ride scholarship to Stanford University.
"I hope she's looking down on me, and she's able to see everything I'm doing," Readus cried. "I hope she's able to see all the good work I'm going to put in this world."
Readus' mom died after years of dealing with heart and stomach issues.
"It feels terrible, man, because my momma was honestly my reason for everything I've ever done," Readus said.
He is planning his mother's funeral and trying to figure out how to bury her. However, the process is tough.
"Basically it all comes down to the fact that we're poor, and we don't have anything," Readus said. "We didn't have anything our whole lives, and we still don't have anything right now."
The 18-year-old said he is doing what he has to do to bury his mother, including digging into the money he earned.
"I'm not going to say there are things I won't need in college, but right now I think I can make it," Readus said. "And right now my mother is my priority."
Readus said he was doing all of this for his mother.
"I was planning on taking care of my momma. I was planning on getting an education, taking care of her, making sure she's straight," he said.
Dellarontay had more than a 4.0 GPA and was valedictorian of his class.
After his mom's death, the Stanford-bound student is still looking to make his mother happy.
"After her passing, everybody just kept telling me to stay strong and make sure that she stays proud of me," Readus said.