Single mom Ieshia Champs of five is graduating soon from law school and the story and photo of her celebrating with her children are going viral.
Texas resident Champs had dreamed about being a lawyer since age 7, CBS News reported, but a series of life events as she entered her teen years veered her off course.
"I really didn't have any stable guidance at that time. My mom was addicted to drugs. My dad was deceased. And I was homeless," Champs told CBS News. "I lived with friends or whoever would take me in. Then I got pregnant with the first of my five children, and things just went from there."
To support her growing brood she had to drop out of high school to work at a call center.
Champs' low point came in 2009 when she lost her home to a fire, lost her children's father to cancer, and lost her job, all while she was pregnant with her fourth child. When life began proving too much for her, she feared she was losing her sanity and attempted suicide.
At that point her pastor provided a ray of hope and a roadmap to her future.
"Pastor Louise Holman called me one day and said that God told her to tell me to go back to school and get my GED, because that lawyer I wanted to be, I'll be it!" Champs recalled to CBS. "I thought it was a little crazy because I was too old and I had three children with my fourth child on the way."
But crazy or not, she figured if that’s what God had in store for her she had better listen.
Champs took it one step at a time. After earning her GED, she enrolled at Houston Community College, followed by the University of Houston-Downtown.
Champs is now a month away from becoming a Texas Southern University's Thurgood Marshall School of Law graduate. To commemorate the occasion, she had photos taken of her with her children, each holding up a small lettered chalkboard. Hers says, “I did it!” and her children’s boards tell the world they had a hand in it too.
"I took the pictures with my kids because they helped me through school. They're graduating too!" Champs quipped. "They would help me review with flash cards while I cooked. They would sit as a mock jury while I taught them what I learned that day. I would sit in my closet and pray and cry because I was overwhelmed and my oldest son, David, would gather his siblings, give them a snack, make them take a bath, gather their school clothes, all to make things easier for me. And I had no knowledge of him doing that until I went to do it!"
Twitter users were delighted by the photo and the heartwarming story.
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