U of L senior overcomes adversity to get four degrees in four ye - WDRB 41 Louisville News

U of L senior overcomes adversity to get four degrees in four years

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Lashawn Ford never thought being a college graduate was possible, but she's about to graduate with four degrees. Lashawn Ford never thought being a college graduate was possible, but she's about to graduate with four degrees.

LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- Lashawn Ford never thought being a college graduate was possible. However, on Sunday the 22-year-old will receive four degrees from the University of Louisville.

“He was literally on the run for ten years,” said Ford about her dad. She said her father was wanted for more than ten years -- by the FBI.

“I knew we were running from the police,” said Ford, “but I didn't really understand why.”

She grew up in a life of poverty, with her mother barely able to make ends meet.

“My mom, she's an exotic dancer,” Ford said, “ She's been doing that for 15 years and she's still doing it today.”

Other members of her family have been in and out of prison.

“I have two blood related uncles, one on my mom's side and one on my dad's side, and both of them are in prison for murder,” she said.

At graduation on Sunday she'll receive degrees in Justice Administration, Sociology, Psychology and Philosophy, all with a 3.96 GPA. She'll be the first college graduate in her entire family. Ultimately, she says she's worked so hard for her sister.

“My little sister is one of my biggest motivations,” Ford says, “She's only ten, so I really want to show her that no matter what we come from that she can overcome and do something great with her life.”

Ford was an athlete in high school, but a knee injury her sophomore year kept her from competing in volleyball and track, but it was what happened next that was almost too much for her to handle.

“My sophomore year, my best friend died from suicide. Losing my friend -- it was like an ultimate low and it got to a point where I wanted to commit suicide,” she recalled.

She says smiling is her coping mechanism for all she's been through in life. But on Sunday her smiling won't be for coping, it will be because she accomplished something she and many others never thought was possible.

“For me I'm just living my life,” Ford said, “I didn't know that this was like that big of a deal and people hear my story and they're like ‘wow' but that's just my life.”

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