Yesterday, I was watching CBS News in the morning and caught a story that was done on college students who are homeless. Individuals who came from varied backgrounds, many that had never had a family member that went to college, getting what assistance they could to make a better life for themselves. These were students who had no place to put their head at night, yet they persevered through their studies, sometimes making the deans list in their pursuit of a better life.
One of the stories was about a young lady who had fitted her van with the comforts of home. She slept in the school library parking lot and showered in a woman’s locker room every morning before she went about her studies. This was her home throughout her college career until she just recently graduated. Another story was of a young man who slept on park benches and in the woods on nights when he had no where else to go until he was finally able to secure a place in a shelter that was built just for students who were homeless. Their waiting list is in the hundreds.
As I watched the story I wondered just what was inside of these individuals that drove them to be successful in their endeavors despite the adversity that they were facing. They had not come from the best backgrounds to prepare them for these hardships that they would face, but they were willing to put in the work necessary to accomplish that which they so desperately desired. I believe these two individuals are destined to be extraordinary, as are the many who are out there like them.
Finally, it also caused me to think about the last three years with this program. The early days were difficult. Finding the money, cards, decorators and donors to make this program real was hard. Doing it while also keeping up with a full time job was even more difficult. Yet every time we ran out of money, cards or supplies, another source would appear and 7,719 cards became 18,810 and finally last year 40,515. Those hard times helped prepare us for an extraordinary destiny. Not me, us as our success is only possible because of the power of we.
Overcoming hardships opens doors that we never thought imaginable. They put us on a path to extraordinary things if we only persevere and push on. I am thankful to have all you extraordinary people on this journey with us.
Have a great day and remember to be the reason someone smiles.
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