Mr. Speaker, it is with great pride to give special recognition to the accomplishments and sacrifices made by an extraordinary woman from Houston—Ieshia Champs. After facing incredible challenges in her life, Ms. Champs has risen to not only empower herself, but other women facing similar difficulties.
At the age of 33, this single mother of 5 just graduated from Thurgood Marshall School of Law. Despite dropping out of high school, getting laid off, being homeless, losing her children’s father to cancer, losing her mom to cancer, and losing her home to a fire Ms. Champs did not quit.
In 2009, she earned her GED and began to turn her life around. She gives all the credit to her children and her faith in God. Last month, Ms. Champs found herself in the dead center of the media’s attention.
She posted a photo with her five children, wearing a cap and gown, while holding a chalk board sign that said, ‘‘I did it!’’ Her children held chalkboard signs stating ‘‘We did it!’’ and ‘‘I helped’’.
The photo went viral, giving others hope. Ms. Champs grew up in the foster care system and struggled with thoughts of killing herself. She found hope in God and strength in her children.
Some people would say that she beat the odds, but I believe her passion, determination, and resilient attitude along with her faith in God ensured her the talent to finish law school. It wasn’t easy.
Her kids helped her studies. They quizzed her with flash cards and even served as her mock jury. A family that practices law together, stays together. We are all faced with challenges and choices, some more difficult than others, but the understanding that each person is responsible for their actions and their own pursuit of the American dream is the best building blocks we can give to our children.
On behalf of the Second Congressional District of Texas, I want to congratulate Ms. Champs for setting an example to her children and giving hope to other women who are facing similar challenges.
And that’s just the way it is.