Winter Malbrough-Bush and Lonnie Bush live in Memphis. Lonnie, 29 and a navy veteran, is attending the University of Memphis. Winter, 26, is a sales manager for Philip Morris USA.
He says: I never thought I'd go to college. Winter told me I could do it. Because of her, my confidence is up to a whole different level.
She says: When we started dating, I was helping Lonnie a lot with his schoolwork…but now I have a full-time job. The other day I asked him, "Do you feel like we're in a boat, and after we've rowed out to the middle of the lake together I threw my oar overboard and swam to shore—and you're out there on your own trying to get back?" He said, "Do you think I feel that way?" And that's when I thought, Wow, he needs more support with school. I knew if he didn't feel that way, he would have denied it. That's the thing I've had to learn: I've got to be creative enough to communicate in a way that he can relate to—in as few words as possible. I know I can give up my hour of TV or whatever to make sure that he's not in that boat alone.