Watch Rashema Melson’s inspirational story that will make you believe in ‘dreams come true.
Video Credit: GeoBeats News
A 23-year-old student who struggled a lot in her life as she lived on the streets and in shelters to be the first in her family to graduate from college on Saturday.
Rashema Melson’s life and upbringing were extremely challenging, but, despite all the problems she faced when she attended three different high schools, she succeeded to become the valedictorian at Anacostia High School in Washington, D.C. and earned a full scholarship to Georgetown University, according to ABC News.
“My life has always been rough,” Melson, who will receive her bachelor’s degree in justice and peace studies, told the news outlet. “Homeless or not, in the southeast, it’s rough regardless. The circumstances are just rough due to the fact that we don’t have the tools or resources as everyone else.”
She added: “People really emphasize a lot on the homelessness because that’s what grabbed their attention, but there’s a lot that I don’t share.”
Melson recalls her hard days of not having hot water, eating food out of a can because she couldn’t afford plates, she was not able to maintain friendships because of how often she and her family had to pick up and move.
“It was four of us in a little room, a little smaller than a dorm room that I actually live in now,” Melson told WUSA. “We’ve lived in an abandoned home before, which was way worse, so I appreciate the shelter because it was, you know, a place to live for the moment.”
Concentration on education, movies, and reading helped Melson to focus on her goal and see, her future, she told ABC.
“Reading books gave me an insight into a world that I have never ever seen in my life,” she said.
“People really get rich and buy a house? Do people really get their dream jobs? It was like a fantasy land to me.”
Her friend Wesley Bowers, 19, told the news outlet that Melson’s story has motivated him.
“She doesn’t ask anyone for anything, she doesn’t ask for much, but she is always the first person to give,” he said. “She is just a very caring person and a good friend, so finding out her story made her even better in my eyes in a sense.”
“I am extremely lucky to have a friend like her. I tell her that all the time,” he added. “I know that if anything happens to me or my family, she will drop whatever she is doing. She always puts other people first.”
When Melson walking across the stage and graduating she thinks, “It’s an unbelievable feeling, actually,” she told WUSA. “I knew that education was the only way out. I knew like I need to get my work done.”
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