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Single Mom of 5 Set to Graduate from Law School
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Ieshia Champs

Summary: A single mom of five has made headlines over the photos of her family’s “We did it!” themed photo shoot for graduation from Thurgood Marshall Law.

A photo of a single mom with her five kids celebrating her law school graduation is gaining a lot of attention. Ieshia Champs will officially graduate from Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law next month. The photo and her story now serve as an inspiration to others that law school is possible, according to First Coast News.


As a single mother, Champs has overcome more adversity than most pursuing a law degree. At the age of 7 when her dream to become a lawyer started, Champs and her siblings were taken away from her parents and placed in foster care. They bounced from home to home until a maternal uncle took them in. Soon after, Champs dropped out of high school and had her first child at the age of 19.

Champs told CBS News, “I really didn’t have any stable guidance at that time. My mom was addicted to drugs. My dad was deceased. And I was homeless. I lived with friends or whoever would take me in. Then I got pregnant with the first of my five children, and things just went from there.”

In order to support her child, and the ones to come, Champs got a job at a call center but when she was pregnant with her fourth child, her world came crashing down around her. Champs lost her home to a fire, she lost her job, her children’s father to cancer, and her sanity. Feeling completely out of options, she tried to commit suicide but failed. Soon after, Champs received a call from her pastor.

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She said, “Pastor Louise Holman called me one day and said that God told her to tell me to go back to school and get my GED, because that lawyer I wanted to be, I’ll be it! I thought it was a little crazy because I was too old and had three children with my fourth child on the way.”

She put her faith in God’s will and enrolled in school to get her GED. She then moved on to Houston Community College and to the University of Houston-Downtown after that. With help and support from others, Champs was able to see what others saw in her, giving her the motivation to make her dream of becoming a lawyer come true. Champs hopes to work with families and someday become a judge after she passes the bar.

Of her new fame, Champs said, “I took the pictures with my kids because they helped me through school. They’re graduating too. They would help me review with flash cards while I cooked. They would sit as a mock jury while I taught them what I learned that day. I would sit in my closet and pray and cry because I was overwhelmed and my oldest son, David, would gather his siblings, give them a snack, make them take a bath, gather their school clothes, all to make things easier for me. And I had no knowledge of him doing that until I went to do it! … I had no idea this would happen. I literally thought I was just taking a graduation picture with my children.”

When I look at the pictures, I cry, I smile, and I’m very grateful. I see a woman who at one time knew that the odds were against her. Looking at that picture reminds me of the fact that I didn’t just defy the odds, me and my children destroyed them.”

Her photos have garnered tens of thousands of likes and comments on social media.

Do you think what Champs accomplished was impressive? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about law students overcoming the odds, read these articles:




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