After having lived in the bowels of homelessness for almost 20 years, I have finally achieved a goal I have wanted for quite some time…I am graduating from college Monday, May 8th 2017 at the Raleigh Convention and Civic Center.

Most people would probably never comprehend the powerful significance this moment means to me, especially after all I have been through. My last couple of semesters of school were particularly harrowing, because, in the Fall Semester of 2016, I lost 3 siblings back to back to back.

My oldest sister, Geraldine, passed away in August 10 2016, my second sister, Rosa, passed September 15th 2016 and my oldest brother, Henry, passed away, October 10 2016. You can’t begin to imagine the depths of despair, I endured.

It was so intense, I contemplated quitting school. All of those deaths were too much for me to deal with. I talked with a couple of my instructors during this process, regarding my continuing my education. I was going to withdraw and come back another semester, but I knew, if i had…I would not have finished my education, at all.

I could not quit…after all the sleepless nights studying, learning and trying to push myself, beyond my comfort zone, I had come too far, to quit, so I decided to press onward.

The memories of wise words of wisdom, my mother had given me before she left this life, continued to bombard my mind and thought…”You can do it, baby, I believe in you.” How could i possibly quit school?

 

I worked past all of that and continued to pursue my dream of obtaining my degree. Even beyond that, I had to complete this degree because, it would become a landmark achievement for me, in that, I have never finished anything I have started in decades past and it was my goal, that this would be the first thing I would finish.

Now, I am 3 days away from graduation and am so proud of myself.

I only wish my dear mother could be here to share this monumental occasion with me. She would be so very proud.

Although, my mother may not be here with me, my sister is here with me to share my joy with me, and I am so happy that she is here with me.

I have never had a place within my family, so I have always lived like to an orphan.

As I prepare for graduation, I must continue to make my future plans, which are to get 2 more years of education at North Carolina Wesleyan College in the fall, to obtain my bachelors degree. I would like to work within my major, as well, while attending school.

Granted, I am not graduating from NC State, UNC, or any major university, but, I am graduating college, nonetheless and that makes me extremely proud.

 

As I close this article, I would offer a word of advice to one and all…don’t give up on anyone who happens to be homeless.

I want to personally thank each and every person, who had a hand in my transition before, during and after my stint in homelessness.

I would not be at this point, in my life, without any of you.

 

Like me, it may only take a word of kindness or an act of support to make the difference between life and death to someone who is already in despair.

It most certainly made a difference in my life.