Coming from a low-income family, no one thought this girl could go far in life, yet she proved to be an example of self-improvement by becoming the best in her class. Kendra Woods was the first in her family to ever finish high school. Now she was going to college to pursue her dream of becoming a lawyer.
Growing up with six siblings and an alcoholic father, Kendra grew up watching her mother struggling to make ends meet. It might come as a surprise that Kendra graduated with honors in high school, but she was determinate to achieve her goals in order to help out her family.
Kendra had moved to Georgia, New York, and Virginia all before 8th grade. After the family’s house burned down in her junior year, the family then settled in Summervile, a suburb of South Carolina.
With all those commotions while growing up, Kendra’s achievements in high school were a miracle.
One teacher in particular noticed Kendra’s perseverance. Jasmine Bell was her Spanish teacher the year the house burnt down. However, the teacher never saw Woods’ academic performance decline.
“Anyone who knew Kendra’s background knew she was a fighter. She was the kind of girl who would push through anything in order to make the most of her opportunities, it seemed like there was no situation that would break her down,”
Jasmine claimed that even after the house was burnt down, Kendra would take a bus two hours away to get to her high school by 7:00 a.m., which was the first period. Bell saw firsthand Kendra’s determination.
“She had all of the reasons to be a mediocre student, but that wasn’t in her plans, she just took the hardships of her life to get herself stronger, I admire her deeply, even though she’s younger than me” Kendra said.
Bell had really been inspired by Kendra’s dedication, even if she was only her teacher for one year.
After graduating, Kendra decided to study laws at Temple University. Scholarships and other grants she had gotten had helped her pay for her first semester. Although the university was expensive, she was able to attend the first semester thanks to different scholarships she had gotten.
Kendra was beyond happy whilst she was in college. But it all came down to financial issues. Kendra’s mother had miscalculated the costs, even with three jobs and Kendra working a half-time shift in a coffee shop, neither there was anyone in the family with enough credit to use loans. So Woods family couldn’t afford Temple University any longer.
Kendra’s dream to become a lawyer seemed to be more distant than she thought.
One day, the brilliant student received a call from someone totally unexpected.
It was Jasmine Bell with some shocking news.
“You won’t have to give up college, We already paid for half of your major, it’s what a fighter like you deserves.” Bell said.
Kendra just broke down in tears, all of her financial worries were suddenly solved.
What Kendra didn’t know was that her former Spanish teacher was keeping a close eye on her.
Bell had contacted Ms. Woods to keep up with Kendra’s journey. When she heard of the financial issues they were going through, she decided to help them out.
Bell started a GoFundMe page in secret, hoping to help pay for Kendra’s college.
The goal was $8,000 to pay for three semesters to Temple University.
“I couldn’t believe this was the end of Kendra’s story, I couldn’t permit it either,” she told us “She has worked really hard since she was a little girl and she deserves some breaks.”
After a week, the GoFundMe page had surpassed the goal of $8,000 by over $3,000.
“We closed the campaign after reaching enough money to pay 5 semesters, which allows Kendra to keep going with her education,” Bell wrote in an update.
Kendra’s mom posted a video on Facebook to express her deepest thanks. “I am deeply grateful to each and every one of you! I can’t tell you how glad I am to know that my daughter will be able to continue studying and achieving her goals, after having gone through difficult times in recent years, this is the best thing that has happened to us and I want to thank you for allowing my daughter to become the lawyer she has always dreamed of.”
Thanks to Bell, Kevonna can now stay at Temple University. And based on her remarkable track record, it won’t be a surprise if she makes the Dean’s List and stays there.