William and his grandmother

10 of 12
 
Despite everything he's been through, William will be the first in his family to graduate from college. He says his life was turned around because of the efforts of one woman—his grandmother. "She jumped right in that day and she's been going ever since," he says.

In addition to his grandmother's love and support, William says he drew inspiration from teachers, friends and his sister. Without this support network, William says he could have ended up on the street selling or using drugs. "I was susceptible to that, going in that direction," he says.

William's sister, Manyka, who was across the street at the time their mother was murdered, says she went down the road William avoided. She says she sold drugs, including cocaine, as she was growing up...until the efforts of her grandmother, teachers and coaches turned her life around.

"I was a victim, but I had a village around me," Manyka says. "I thank the Lord that he put people in my life, because I can now stand and not have to remain in that spot as a victim."
PREVIOUS | NEXT
FROM: Bill Cosby Calls Out the "Dirty Laundry"
Published on October 17, 2007

NEXT STORY

Comment

LONG FORM
ONE WORD