A single mother of five in Texas created quite a stir in social media, after posting photos with her children, while announcing her graduation from law school.
Leshia Champs of Houston said that she finished classes at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University. She posted a school graduation picture on Facebook with her children, with one of them holding a sign saying, “We did it!”
Other children are holding signs that say “I helped!” and “Me too!”
People drew inspiration from her and appreciated her efforts. “I am so incredibly inspired by you. Great job!” said one user.
“Congratulations I know it wasn’t easy. I am so proud of you,” said another.
“You are inspiring student moms everywhere!” said another. “Way to go. Do great things over there in TX!”
“I had no idea this would happen,” Champs told of all the attention she’s received. “I literally thought I was just taking a graduation picture with my children.”
The photo, showing Champs with one heel of her shoe on some books, a calm, yet triumphant look on her face, and her five children holding their signs, is a powerful reminder of what’s possible.
“I look at that picture, and I cry, because I cannot believe it,” she said.
Champs comes from a struggling household, and she along with her siblings were taken away from her parents and placed in foster care.
She dropped out of her school and became homeless at different stages during her teens. She had her first child when she was 19. She lost her mother, and then the children’s father passed away due to cancer. Her house brought down because of the fire.
“I literally—literally—tried to commit suicide,” she told.
However, things changed when she started attending church in Houston in 2009. She was encouraged to return to get her GED. She was also given a permanent home by a child services caseworker, she returned to finish her education.
Her children are inspired by her, as are many others.
“I knew a lot of people would be inspired, because I was inspired,” one of Champs’s children, David Jernigan Jr., told Fox 26. “When she told me, I was speechless.”
But they were also her inspiration to persevere in her study.
“When I look at them and I think about where I came from, there’s no way in the world that I would want them to back to that,” she told. “So, therefore, they’re my reason to keep going.”
Apart from the caseworker, Champs is grateful to her church for encouraging her to pursue higher education. She now hopes to become a judge one day.