Speed Reads

It wasn't all bad

Once homeless, this single mom of 5 is about to graduate from law school

Without her children pitching in to help and offering words of encouragement, Iesha Champs likely wouldn't be graduating next month from Texas Southern University's Thurgood Marshall School of Law.

The Houston resident had to overcome a lot of obstacles to get where she is today. Her father died when she was young, and her mother was addicted to drugs. When she became pregnant at 19 with her first child, Champs was homeless and had to drop out of high school and find a job. In 2009, she told CBS News, her life took a devastating turn: Pregnant with her fourth child, Champs lost her job, her home was destroyed in a fire, and the father of her children died from cancer.

Champs then met a pastor who told her she needed to get her GED. She did, and then went on to Houston Community College and University of Houston-Downtown, before taking on law school. As a child, she dreamed about becoming a lawyer, and her own kids helped that dream come true — they made flash cards for their mom, and served as a mock jury. Her eldest son, David, would also help his siblings with snacks and getting ready for school while Champs studied. To celebrate her pending graduation, Champs held a photo shoot with her kids, who held up signs reading "I helped" and "We did it." When she looks at the photos, Champs says, she sees "a woman who knew the odds were against her and she destroyed them." Catherine Garcia