It’s easy to say that when life gives you lemons you should make lemonade, but what if your dream is to make lemonade and life keeps taking your lemons away. Should you give up?
Metaphor aside, life doesn’t always hand us ideal circumstances, and it can be hard to continue to reach for our dreams when times get tough. If you’re looking for inspiration to help you push through barriers and continue to work towards your dreams, look no further than Ieshia Champs, a 33-year-old mom of 5.
Champs has always dreamt of becoming an attorney, but she didn’t think that would ever become a reality. She was raised in foster care. She dropped out of school when she was a sophomore in high school. She was a teen mom. She lost her children’s father to cancer. Her house burnt down. Basically, she had every excuse there was not to pursue her dreams.
She did give up. She says, “My lifelong goal of becoming an attorney was just kind of shattered.”
Then, in 2009, a mentor at her church set her on a path that changed everything. This mentor encouraged her to get her GED. That was the catalyst that gave her the confidence to fight for her dreams.
After getting her GED, she continued her education at Houston Community College, followed by the University of Houston Downtown and finally, Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law.
That’s right, she went to law school.
You might wonder how a single mom with 5 kids could find the time to go to law school. She admits that “It was very difficult.”
Her dreams may not have been possible without Thurgood Marshall School of Law’s help. Champs says, “They’ll watch your children while you study. They said, ‘Bring your kids, we’ll watch them.’ Professors let you bring your kids to class. … I made the best choice. This is like another family.”
Champs continues, “Professors would give them [her kids] colors and books. I studied in between classes. During my son’s football practice, I studied. At home, when we were cooking and combing hair, I had flash cards. [The kids] were a mock jury, and I would reiterate what I learned.”
All of her hard work culminated last summer when she took and passed the bar exam.
Champs remembers the moment she found out she passed. “I screamed so loud and I ran through my apartment 15 times, I just keep saying thank you God. When I saw it was just so surreal.”
Photos of her with her 5 kids soon went viral, and that changed her life again. Champs says, “People from all over the world sent me gift cards and money and that’s how my children and I ate during the summer. My church family would cook meals for us just to make sure we had something to eat.”
Champs isn’t done yet. Her dream is to become a federal judge. Considering all the obstacles she’s pushed to the side, we’re sure that nothing can stop her now.
She says, “Don’t let your current situation determine your future circumstances…If God can do it for me, he can do it for someone else.”
Do you have a dream that you’ve pushed to the side? What steps can you take to make it happen?