Homeless Valedictorian at Yale

“Press forward. Do not stop, do not linger in your journey, but strive for the mark set before you.” – George Whitefield

Walk around any high school and throughout the day you’ll hear a variety of complaints about homework, school starting too early, having to ride the bus, and so many others.  Those complaints may be valid, but they are minor issues compared to what some students have experienced during their high school journey.

Take, for instance, Chelsesa (pronounced Che-lisa) Fearce.  She grew up in Clayton County, GA. But unlike most of her classmates, she didn’t have a home to come back to after class each day.  Instead, she and her family bounced around from homeless shelters to extended-stay motels and occasionally slept in her mother’s car.  Because money was hard to come by, sometimes she and her family only ate one meal a day.

Despite all those obstacles, Chelsesa still managed to focus on her schoolwork each night and graduated Valedictorian with a 4.5 GPA.  That commitment to excellence with her studies, in the midst of all that instability, opened a scholarship to Spelman College.  Her grades at college remained excellent, and now she has a full scholarship to Yale Medical School with aspirations to complete her doctorate and get a medical degree to begin a career in psychiatry.

This kind of story proves that hard situations do not have to keep you from achieving your goals. Your inner strength can win over your outer circumstances most of the time, as long as you remain consistent in progressing towards those goals.

No matter what your life looks like now, YOU get to decide what it will look like later.  If a high schooler like Chelsesa can reach for the sky and touch the stars, you can, too.  And if you have already achieved your long-term goals, consider supporting organizations in your neighborhood who are trying to help others do the same.

To read more about Chelsesa from Nancy Baddertscher’s spotlight in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution click here.

Sheltering Grace Ministry, Ltd. is a 501(c)3 Ltd. non-profit ministry. We resolve the initial crisis of homelessness by providing mothers with a safe place to live during pregnancy. We also equip them with the tools they need to improve decision-making, enhance employment options, and increase family income to act responsibly as the head of their household. All of our services develop their self-reliance to progress to permanent independent living. Please join us in renewing and rebuilding the lives of these brave women – #Be1of5000.

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