Ieshia Champs, a single mom of five beautiful kids, has every reason to be proud. Not just of her amazing kids and how well she has raised them. But mostly, she can be proud of herself and her incredible accomplishment. On social media she shared the most inspiring graduation photo you’ve ever seen.
The 33 year-old single mom from Pasadena, TX is the living example of how you can still achieve your dreams after having had kids. It has been Ieshia’s dream to become a lawyer since she was about 7 years old. But unfortunately, she didn’t get a chance to fulfil those dreams when she was younger. Her life took another course that the one she had hoped she’d get.
“Then I got pregnant with the first of my five children, and things just went from there…”
At a young age, Ieshia’s life turned into a complete nightmare and she got placed in foster care. At that point her dream of going to law school to become a lawyer seemed to be just that… a dream. She was fighting to keep her head above water and if life wasn’t already hard enough as it was, Ieshia got pregnant with her first child at the age of 19.
“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. 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,” Ieshia said during an interview with CBS News.
To take care of her growing family, Ieshia dropped out of high school and got a job. Her life seemed to be turning around for the better until bad luck struck again in 2009. Pregnant with her fourth child Ieshia was facing a few horrible losses. Not only did she lose her job, she was about to be homeless again due to a fire that burned her entire house down. But the worst and biggest loss was yet to come. The love of her life and father of her children got sick and passed away after battling cancer. At that point, the now single mom lost her sanity as well.
“I thought it was a little crazy because I was too old and I had three children with my fourth child on the way…”
Having dealt with so many losses, Ieshia didn’t see the point in living anymore. She told CBS News she actually tried to commit suicide but was saved by a phone call from her pastor. She had her doubts and didn’t want to believe it first, but hat phone call and the words of her pastor changed her life forever. Pastor Louise Holman knew of her dream to become a lawyer and was convinced that one day Ieshia would be just that. That’s why the pastor convinced her to get her GED and go on from there.
“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! I thought it was a little crazy because I was too old and I had three children with my fourth child on the way,” Ieshia said.
And so Ieshia went on her educational journey. She got her GED, went on to Houston Community College, and to the University of Houston-Downtown after that. She has worked very hard, and is now graduating from Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law next month. But Ieshia couldn’t have done it alone. She had lots of help from all of her children. Every single one of them chipped in to help. They quizzed her with flash cards while she was making them dinner. And her oldest son even took over taking care of his younger siblings at times. Just so that his mom could have a moment to herself or focus on studying for her tests.
“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…”
To celebrate her amazing accomplishment, Ieshia posted a series of graduation pictures on social media. People all over the world were impressed and inspired and shared their thoughts and respect by commenting and reposting the pictures. In one of them (the one that went viral), Ieshia is standing in front of her kids with one foot on a pile of books holding a chalkboard with the words, “I did it!” written on it. Each of her five kids are holding a chalkboard as well with messages of their own: “I helped!” “I did too!” “I helped too!” “Me too!” “We did it!”
“I took the pictures with my kids because they helped me through school. They’re graduating too! 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!” Ieshia proudly said of her kids.
“Looking at that picture reminds me of the fact that I didn’t just defy the odds, me and my children destroyed them…”
Not only is Ieshia super proud of her 5 amazing kids. She also acknowledges that she can be proud of herself as well. As a single mom, she has come a long way and gave everything she had in her to reach her goals. But most of all, she didn’t give up, even though the road that led there was hard AF!
“When I look at the pictures, I cry, I smile, and I’m very grateful. I see a woman who at one time knew that the odds were against her. Looking at that picture reminds me of the fact that I didn’t just defy the odds, me and my children destroyed them,” she told the interviewer.
What do you think of Ieshia’s remarkable accomplishment as a single mom of five kids?
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