Everyday we hear the plight of young people growing up in barren, hopeless, war torn communities … right here in the U.S. The urban jungles where people are shot and killed daily, drugs are a part of their lives whether they want it to be or not and hope is nothing but a word with absolutely no reflection of their surroundings.
But, 22-year old Timeica Bethel saw a way out of no way and she made a hopeless community work for her. Her grandmother, Mary Lewis, 62, raised her as her own along with her siblings when her daughter left her children with her to chase her crack addiction and never returned. Her mother had fallen pray to the area they knew as home, LeClaire Courts on Chicago’s Southwest Side, also known as the projects.
Bethel didn’t make excuses though, she just followed the plan her grandmother had set in place for her…hitting the books. She didn’t allow for them to go out in the summer much and she made sure she kept a baseball bat by the front door. It was never intended for the element on the other side, but for her grandchildren who might want to venture out and satisfy their curiosities.
Now Bethel will march across Yale’s stage May 23 with a song in her heart for her grandmother. And no, she doesn’t plan to take a cushy job in some executive office, she plans to come back home and teach in the neighborhood that produced her. She wants to give back to the community that she feels needs her help the most.
Read more on this fascinating young woman here.