From homeless to law school: Mom of 5 marks incredible journey with graduation from Texas Southern

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- For a single mom of five, Friday's hooding ceremony at Texas Southern University marked the achievement of an ultimate goal and an exclamation point to an incredible journey.

Ieshia Champs is now an official graduate of TSU's Thurgood Marshall School of Law. The photo that started it all featured her in a commencement cap, holding a sign that said "I did it." Her five children surrounded her, each holding their own slogan - which ranged from "I helped" to "We did it."

At only 33 years old, Champs has been through more tragedy than most people experience in a lifetime.

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Ieshia Champs is now an official graduate from Texas Southern's Thurgood Marshall School of Law.

In 2009, a fire destroyed all she had and she lost her job. The father of two of her children died from cancer when she was seven months pregnant.

It was tough, but she looked to God for strength and got back up.

"I am so overjoyed right now," Champs told ABC13. "It feels amazing. I feel blessed. I'm thankful."

Champs went back to school, first receiving her GED, then an associate degree from Houston Community College, a bachelor's degree from University of Houston-Downtown, and now a law degree.

She did it all with five children, who now range from 5 to 14 years old.

Richard Holman Photography

"They really inspired me to keep going," Champs said. "They're the ones who were like 'Mom, you have to keep going.'"

For the next couple of months, Champs will be studying for the bar exam. It's another hurdle, but one she happily plans to take in stride.

She encourages everyone to go after their dreams and says if she can do it, you can too.

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A single mother of five proves anything is possible.

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