Onetime high school dropout and single mom celebrates her law school graduation in viral photo


viral photo

Ieshia Champs and her five children. Photo from Facebook

Ieshia Champs has come a long way since she dropped out of high school and had her first child at age 19. The 33-year-old Texas woman will be graduating magna cum laude from Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law in May.

She posed in graduation robes with her five children in a photograph that has gone viral. Yahoo News, USA Today, CBS News, News Channel 10 and WBIR are among the publications with stories.

Champs was pregnant with her fourth child when she began attending services at the Ministers for Christ Christian Center in Houston. One of the church leaders, Louise Holman, told Champs in 2009 that God wanted Champs to become a lawyer—which had been a longtime dream for Champs.

That same year was filled with adversity, but Champs credits support from church leaders with helping see her through it. “I ended up having a house fire, I lost everything that I had,” Champs recalled in a Yahoo News interview. “I got laid off from my job, the father to two of my children died of cancer while I was seven months pregnant, I literally tried to kill myself.”

Champs persevered. She got her GED, obtained a community college degree in paralegal studies, and graduated from the University of Houston. Champs says her children helped out at home and assisted her studies by using flash cards and acting a mock jurors when Champs reviewed her lessons.

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Champs hopes to work in the areas of family and juvenile law and would like to one day become a judge. The viral photo is one of several taken by a church bishop—Richard Holman, who is also a professional photographer—to celebrate her achievement. Champs says the photos of her with her children make her cry and smile.

“I see a woman who at one time knew that the odds were against her,” she tells CBS. “Looking at that picture reminds me of the fact that I didn’t just defy the odds, me and my children destroyed them.”

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Author: Edward Lott

Edward Lott, Ph.D., M.B.A. is President and Managing Partner of Allentown-based ForLawFirmsOnly Marketing, Inc., a local search and digital marketing agency that offers clients lead generation, local seo and Google Maps Domination. Ed has been a digital entrepreneur since 1994, having discovered very early the opportunities the Internet offered. After having spent over two decades helping attorneys grow their practice, Ed joined the staff of ForLawFirmsOnly Marketing as President and Managing Partner, where he is expanding the agency’s cutting-edge services to the legal market. A true marketing futurist, Ed's vast experience working directly with attorneys has given him a unique perspective on law firm marketing not found in many other digital marketing agencies. Ed has reshaped the offerings of ForLawFirmsOnly to focus on growing law firms through a holistic approach to digital marketing evident in the reformulated lead generation processes now in place. Want to learn more about ForLawFirmsOnly Marketing, their lead generation programs, or just talk to Ed about his visions for helping law firms grow? Call him at 855-943-8736.

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