Chelesa Fearce is a shining example of a student that didn’t let obstacles get in her way when it came to her education. You see, during most of Chelesa’s high school career she was homeless and living in her mother’s car. Chelesa, a senior at Charles Drew High School in Clayton County, Georgia, knew that her hard work would pay off, despite the obstacles presented to her.
“I just told myself to keep working, because the future will not be like this anymore,” Fearce said. “You’re worried about your home life and then worried at school. Worry about being a little hungry sometimes, go hungry sometimes. You just have to deal with is. You eat what you can, when you can.”
Although her family occasionally lived in an apartment, because of her mother’s lay-offs, they took refuge in shelters.
“Ended up back in another shelter because I got laid off from my job maybe about four or five times,” Fearce’s mother, Reenita Shephard said.
“I just did what I had to do,” Fearce said.
None of that stopped Chelesa from achieving a 4.466 GPA and a 1900 SAT score. On top of her regular high school course load, Chelesa was able to enroll in college courses during her last two years of high school. When she enters Spelman in the fall, she will do so as a college junior.
Brains apparently run in the family. Chelesa’s sister is graduating from George Washington Carver High School as a salutatorian.
“I read to them a lot. Everything was a learning experience,” Shephard said.
“Don’t give up. Do what you have to do right now so that you can have the future that you want,” Chelesa said.