May 28th, 2013
06:45 PM ET

Overcoming Adversity

Chelesa Fearce was homeless for most of the time she was in high school.  Sometimes, she went hungry; sometimes, she slept in her family's car.  But she never gave up on her education.  Instead, she excelled at it.

She scored a 1900 on the SAT.  Her GPA was 4.46.  She was her school's valedictorian, graduating with enough credits to enter college as a junior.  It's an unusual and incredible story of overcoming adversity, and it's proof of what can be achieved when someone doesn't give up.

If you have any stories of your own that involved overcoming the odds, we'd love to hear them.  They don't have to be as dramatic as this one; anytime you've faced hardship and persevered counts.

Carl Azuz, Anchor

Please remember to include only your first name when commenting.

Filed under: Feedback • News Coverage
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Edgar

    In the past we haven't had money and with work, we earned money

    May 28, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
  2. Natyvia

    I wouldn't be surprised. If I was living in my family car and went hungry . I'll try my best to do right in school and get some where in life . I admire her for how hard she tried and I want to tell her good luck . I'm looking forward to seeing you in the future.

    May 28, 2013 at 7:58 pm |
  3. Aaron

    I was racing and I was last. But I never gave up and I zoomed and got first....

    May 28, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
  4. Somil

    When I was learning to ride my bike I kept falling and getting hurt. But I never gave up and got better than my friends.

    May 28, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
  5. Elizabeth

    This is an amazing story of overcoming adversity. Chelsea was challenged, but she kept going till she had done more than people living easier lives had. Currently, I cannot say that I have ever overcome an obstacle this large, but on a smaller scale I have. When I was in 5th and 6th grade I was in a program that required me to take on a year long project along with all my other school work. Especially in 5th grade I did not manage my time well, and was swamped with work the week the project was due. The next year I had a really good teacher and I was able to learn from my mistakes of the past year. These projects were not easy for me, but they improved me as a student. Another challenge I have overcome is a fear of public speaking and stage fright. It is terrifying to me to stand up in front of a group of people and talk or perform. In the past two years, I have had to do this quite a few times. I cannot say that I enjoy being up on a stage or podium, but I now know that I can do it. These are two of the challenges I have faced in my life, and I expect that I will face many more, but I know that I can come out on top once again.

    May 28, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
  6. britney

    I faced my fear by standing up to bullies and I started to have more friends than I had before. I can't stand bullies when they're mean, but sometimes I am mean to them for what they have done to me and my friends.

    May 29, 2013 at 8:45 am |
  7. Tamir

    I had to focus on my education when I was getting bullied before

    May 29, 2013 at 9:02 am |
  8. Ruby

    I once had difficulties with maths, scoring 56% on my test. It was then when I started working hard on maths, and I could score 100% on my next test.

    May 29, 2013 at 9:34 am |
  9. Thomas

    I think it is amazing how she started out homeless then got to be a star at her school

    May 29, 2013 at 9:53 am |
  10. Daniel

    That's great that a person so poor could achieve so mush

    May 29, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
  11. Matt

    It's amazing how she showed so much dedication to her education to have a better life in the future. She deserved it.

    May 29, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
  12. Nathan

    For many of my years at school (I'm in ninth now), most of my teachers thought that I was a problem child because I didn't act like the rest of my classmates. Finally, my mom took me to the doctor to see what might be wrong with me... it turns out I have Asperger's Syndrome. Now every year my teachers are informed of my condition before school starts and I get much better treatment from them.

    May 29, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
  13. Hiroki

    When I was in primary school, I was fat because I did not like to play outside. In the 2km marathon race held in my school, I was 40th out of 50. After I decided to change my body, and everyday training, I was able to finish full marathon two years ago. I will try it again this year.

    May 29, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
  14. Mackenzie

    When I was younger, roller skating was my enemy. I would always hurt my knee every time I tried. I didn't give up, and I soon stayed on my feet easily, not fall on my knee a lot, and was able to upgrade to speed skates.

    May 29, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
  15. Sue

    I feel surprised and grateful for her for achieving so much in hard conditions.

    May 29, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
  16. Hannah

    This story goes to show that the lesser of our society can do great things!

    May 29, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
  17. Alice

    She is one of the most persevering people I have ever heard of. If I could meet her, I would ask her how much she worked at it. A 4.4 GPA is SO AMAZING! I could barely ever dream of it, but even though I have dyslexia, she is encouraging me to work much harder at my grades!

    May 29, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
  18. Elesia

    I am still working on overcoming fears but living in your car is a big deal. i never had to live like that, the way it sounds is horribile. i have always thought i had it rough. but when you live in your car more than rough. It's scary.

    May 29, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
  19. matthew

    i personally think that she did a great job on her s.a.t scores. not all people sleep in a car and go hungry and don't lose hope. me and my teacher talked and said she will acheive greatness in the future. she most likely wwill get a scalarship to a great school.

    May 29, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
  20. Hana

    My dad has been very sick for weeks now and he has been and still is in he hospitals for weeks with my mom there to. He has to have a big surgery to this week. I have been taking care of my brother since then. I have also managed to get straight a's and get on high honor roll since then. I have been taking care of my brother my house and dog with my parents being 2 hours away for weeks at a time. I also help my brother get a 's on his tests. I also have become a black belt In Taekwondo and a varsity track runner. I also learned to finance the bills and pay money while my parents are gone.

    May 29, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
  21. Arnob

    Chelsea's story brings us to think about how we reflect on adversity ourselves. Next time we feel like our life is hard, we will now turn around like dignified individuals and demonstrate greater confidence in our mindset and image. After all, it's the rough road that leads to heights of greatness.

    May 30, 2013 at 2:26 am |
  22. Suzy

    I overcame the odds in elementary school because I used to get bullied a lot, I didn't have any friends, but ever since I've started middle school I decided that im not gonna let that happen and now I have a lo of friends and I don't get bullied 🙂

    May 30, 2013 at 8:05 am |
  23. Daizy

    My little sister died in 2009, and my Step-mom died in 2011. Even though I went through a LOT, those 3 years.. i never blamed my actions on their deaths. Instead, i win and achieve for them! I'm not gonna let anything, or anyone hold me back from what i can accomplish and being successful!

    May 30, 2013 at 11:18 am |
  24. Antonio

    I think that she over went every and then-some, she is my hero.

    May 30, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
  25. carrie

    My mother sister and I escaped a domestic violence situation. My mother got me and my litte sis away before child services could take us. We stayed in hiding for weeks before finally getting permission to leave the state. Now almost a year later I am going to the private school my mom teaches at and we are doing very well.

    May 30, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
  26. Lashell

    Well this girl is faceing what most kids don't face

    May 31, 2013 at 8:10 am |
  27. Maddie

    I got bullied twice, but each time, I found a way out of it and got back up. You can't let anyone tell you who you should be and try to make you into someone you're not, you are who you are, so celebrate it! You shouldn't let bullies make you someone you're not so you can be popular. Just be yourself! Carry yourself like a king/ queen, and you'll be fine.

    May 31, 2013 at 10:32 am |
  28. Adrianna

    when my little brother was 2 1/2 he still only had 8 words but with a lot of hard work my mom and I finally got him to talk on his age level.

    May 31, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
  29. Randy

    Chelesa is a great inspiration. That's amazing. It's people like her who show what hard work and dedication can really achieve.

    May 31, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
  30. Madison

    I've had some hard times. But one that has stay with me for ever is my grandmother died. I was 4 or 5 years old and it happen. I have cried for years after from time to time. Some things have bean silly I have cried about is my baby brother in the hospitable. This have bean a story I've bean surprised about the GPA. I have bean in things that I did not like.

    May 31, 2013 at 10:16 pm |
  31. Eric

    it proves with the right attitude you can achieve many things

    June 1, 2013 at 1:13 am |
  32. Rylee

    A hardship I've come over is math. It's my least favorite subject and I've never done so hot on all of my tests this year. Hearing about Chelsea made my ponder about my conditions. She's a homless Val Victorian where as I'm a seventh grade girl with a home. Though Chelsea is still homless, her effort and achievment in school is fanominal

    June 2, 2013 at 11:06 am |
  33. Lauren

    I always believed in stopping bullying. In middle school I stood up for someone and had the tables turned on me. I became the bullied. It was really bad and I cried myself to sleep a lot. I never told anyone and that was a big mistake. I stood up the best I could and now more people are standing up at school. I now have been in a musical, district chorus, three year drama medal with best actress and best supporting actress, I have friends, and fully enjoy and love my life. I pledge to help anyone bullied and to not be a bully. I encourage everyone else to do the same. Thank you.

    June 2, 2013 at 11:41 am |