As told to Melissa Kravitz.
At 23 years old, most people are finishing their educational journeys — mine was just beginning.
My plan was always to attend college right away after I graduated. But my grandparents, who had raised me since I was three weeks old, passed away while I was still in high school. I was living on my own in Zachary, Louisiana as a 17-year-old and decided to move to Baton Rouge to look for work. I couldn’t afford to attend college and didn’t have the guidance of my grandparents, who had always encouraged me to continue my education.