She was once homeless, but now she's a college graduate

A South Mecklenburg High School alumna overcame homelessness in a textbook story of perseverance.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The youngest of four and raised by a single mom, the Charlotte native comes from humble beginnings. 

"She worked a lot to make sure that we had," Precious Sidbury said of her mother. "There were times when we didn't have and since she was working so much, she ended up having a stroke." 

Precious was a student at South Mecklenburg High School when her Mom's health took a turn. 

"Bills ended up piling up and we ended up getting evicted from our home and we became homeless," Precious said. 

The devastation at home led to distraction at school. 

"Nobody wants to hear that their Mom is sleeping in their car," Precious said. "It really just showed me, the love she had for me." 

While Sidbury's siblings lived with a friend across town and their mom slept in their car, Sidney lived with her friend, Caila, and her mom. 

"She gave me a place and made me feel like I was a part of the family all along," Precious said. 

It was Caila who pushed her towards Livingstone College in Salisbury, but Precious didn't have the grades to get accepted. 

"Precious came here on a mission," said Sylvester Kyles Jr., the director of Livingstone's Bridge program, which gives high school graduates a chance for admittance even though they don't meet the school's requirement. 

"It's unique but it's in line with the mission of HBCU's, [to] give an opportunity to someone who wouldn't get one," said Kyles. 

Precious took advantage of the Bridge program, becoming a full-time student. She said her teachers deserve a ton of credit for her accomplishments.

"Anytime I wanted to give up or thought about giving up, they gave me a reason not to and pushed me to [fulfill] my own potential," Precious said. 

Precious Sidbury will walk across the stage on Friday, receiving her B.A. in English and graduating with a 3.7 GPA. She plans on teaching English and pursuing her masters in communication.

If you would like to learn about Livingstone's bridge program, you can click here

"I came here with one suitcase," she said. "I'm leaving with my degree." 

© 2018 WCNC.COM


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