HOUSTON — It's a true tale of inspiration. One Conroe woman went from the lowest point of her life to the highest - from at times, living on the streets to getting off drugs.
On Saturday, she got her PhD.
Through Harvey flooded photos, her life of trouble and trauma unfolds.
“I hated struggling, and I didn’t want my kids to repeat the cycle," Tyra Hodge said.
After high school, Hodge worked a few jobs but found herself about to be homeless.
“I did not feel like I was smart enough to go to college," Hodge said. “I started working in clubs, and it became a lifestyle I fell into a lot of drugs, and my life spiraled out of control.”
With no other option but dancing, that lifestyle led to loss.
“It was supposed to be a party, and I had been tricked. So I showed up and the guy was a predator, and he was there to rape me," Hodge said.
But out of that pain she found power from above.
“I said 'God what do you want me to do with my life?'” Hodge said.
And a random drive down I-45 steered her towards her future.
“There was like a whisper that just told me to go to school," Hodge said. “And I walked out with a full scholarship for school.”
On Saturday, surrounded by family and friends, she’s celebrating through a Soul Train line.
Hodge is also a mother of four, author of several books, founder of her own non-profit, and now her newest title - doctor.
“There's a strength inside of all of us, and we just need to tap into it. We need to find it," Hodge said.
Graduating with her PhD in education, Dr. Hodge hopes to use that to inspire children and adults who, like she, haven’t had it easy.