Beating the Odds is an annual series that features remarkable students who seem destined to succeed despite overwhelming challenges, by education reporter Kavitha Cardoza.
Georges Ngayap, 19, is a high school senior who came to this country as an asylum seeker just two years ago, and his tale of perseverance will inspire you.
High school senior Coumba Gueye, has struggled with homelessness and debilitating allergies, but is now heading to college on a full scholarship.
Dreonna Richardson's grandmother was taunted in their neighborhood because of her schizophrenia. Dreonna used it as an opportunity to educate other kids about mental illness.
A stranger on the Metro told Tanizia Matthews that, as another teen mother, she was destined to be a statistic. She explains how, through regimenting her time, she is able to both raise her son and make it through to college.
On top of the challenges of being a first generation immigrant, Blossom Ojukwu struggled to cope with the incarceration of her father. Despite her obstacles, she graduated high school with a 3.9 and is pursuing a career in the arts.
Having lost both his parents at a young age, 17-year-old Donavan Blagmon has learned how to stay strong and succeed without the outside support enjoyed by most other kids his age.
Mongolian immigrant Enkhjin Tuvshinzaya has come a long way since moving to the U.S. without any English or education; today, she's the valedictorian for her high school class.
Jennifer Hightower's mother struggled with drugs and health problems, but that didn't stop Jennifer from excelling in school.
A D.C. high school student who has lived with severe arthritis since she was 12 found freedom in creative writing—and soon she's off to college to study it.
A D.C. high school student who was shot in the leg on her way to school is now about to pursue her college dreams.
Despite odds stacked against them, two students strive to finish school.
Troniece Harrington had to shoulder adult responsibilities from a young age, including cooking, working part-time and taking care of her younger siblings. But she was determined to graduate.
Josue Rosales came to the U.S. as a high school student from Bolivia and could barely speak English. The many hours her spent every evening looking up words in the dictionary and struggling with homework was worth it in the end.
Gus Aluko tried every strategy he could think of to fight narcolepsy and ADHD so he could graduate high school including kneeling in class and asking classmates to prod him awake.