WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - It’s a success story that has the power to inspire all of us. FOX 5 first told you about Rashema Melson five years ago. The Southeast D.C. native gained a full scholarship to Georgetown University all while living in a homeless shelter. Now, she’s graduating with a whole new perspective on life. FOX 5’s Ike Ejiochi spoke to her on the eve of her graduation as she reflects on her time in college.
“I feel accomplished. I feel like I did something worthy,” said Rashema Melson.
We all have goals in life — Rashema Melson wanted to get into college. Despite being homeless at the time, she managed to gain a full scholarship to Georgetown five years ago. Now, she says her aspirations are expanding.
“I want people to look at me and say that ‘I can do anything because she did it,’” said Melson.
On the eve of her graduation, Melson says the road to her success wasn’t easy. She faced tribulations early and often.
“There was so much attention around it and everybody was pressuring me,” said Melson. “Do this, do that, be on top of everything. Maintain all A’s. You are the best of the best. Do this… it was like, ‘Oh my gosh! Please leave me alone.”
Melson left school but returned a year later with a new set of goals. Goals fueled by a former life she no longer wants to remember.
“I know what it’s like to walk outside and be scared for your life. I know what it’s like to come home from school and not know if your mom is still going to be there. I know what it’s like to not know if you’re going to have anything to eat at night or to know if I am going to have a place to lay my head… am I going to be cold tonight,” said Melson.
Melson knows that sometimes it’s hard to follow your goals. She hopes her struggles will help others on the road to success see a little clearer.
“I’m not the homeless person who graduated from Georgetown. I’m Rashema Melson and I want you to know that whatever you put your mind to that you can do it. Always believe in yourself. Always love yourself — because if you don’t love yourself, no one will,” said Melson.