Cherish Thomas, 22, born to a drug-addicted prostitute, was in 20 foster homes before attending the University of Michigan, where she earned a degree in sociology and African-American studies. Now a graduate student there, she plans to tell her story today to more than 100 foster care youths at "Rising Above the Odds Against Me," a conference at Oakland University designed to help steer them toward college.
Although I do not personally know Cherish, I admire her tenacity and confidence to overcome tremendous childhood struggles. While she could have been another foster care statistic, she is now pursuing her Master of Social Work (MSW) at the University of Michigan.
Here is another inspirational story of grads across Michigan:
How Grads Defied Odds to Earn Degrees, Excel
These stories should remind all of us that people can excel if they believe in themselves.