I’m Not the Only One

Her tiny frame belies the unbeatable strength within it.  She is all energy, solid determination and pure grit.  She also possesses a smile that could light up all of downtown Louisville, so easily and brightly it flashes across her face.

In the spring of 2008, she delivered the valedictory address for her high school graduating class, having earned the highest GPA of all her peers.  At the time, she was also three months pregnant with her now almost-three James.

Life got more than a little rocky after that.  And now, more than three years later and with a broken engagement, a delayed college acceptance, and a too-long stretch of not being sure where she had to live behind her, she is a full-time student at the University of Louisville, an Early Childhood Education major with impressive academics and lofty goals.

“Where do I want to be in ten years?” she asks, “I want a house for me and James.  I want to be in the classroom teaching.  And I want to be back in school—or already have completed my Masters.”   One cannot hear her speak these dreams and doubt that they will come true.

She is also proof of the great strength to be found in community.  Ask her where her greatest support comes from and she’ll say “my family,” and then quickly, “but also this place.”  “I’m not the only one,” she says, with such beautiful conviction, “I’m not the only one.”

Her three great life lessons so far?  Never give up.  Everything happens for a reason.  With hard work comes reward.  Her words.  Her story.  Her truths that she is building life for herself and James around these days.

“Nothing is impossible,” she says.  And somehow, you can’t help but believe her.

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