#WeSeeYou: ‘Special Needs’ Woman Graduates Law School
#WeSeeYou is BlackDoctor.org’s weekly series where we highlight those unsung heroes who are doing something awesome that needs to be shared with the world. This week we honor Melanie…
We all know that graduation is special time for a student. It marks the closing of one chapter and the opening of a new one. But for Melonie, her upcoming graduation from Law School is not only a time to shout, but to kneel down and give thanks for surviving everything she went through to get here.
Melonie became a single mom in the fall semester of her senior year of college. After experiencing domestic violence, witnessing a crime, and subsequent homelessness with her infant daughter in her last semester of college, Melonie finished her bachelor’s degree with highest honors.
Early on, Melonie was labeled as a “special needs” student. According to the National Center for Education Statistics in the Summer of 2015, the number of children and youth ages 3–21 receiving special education services was 6.4 million, or about 13 percent of all public school students, in 2012–13. Some 35 percent of students receiving special education services had specific learning disabilities.
Melonie’s teachers believed that she would always need some sort of help learning. But she proved them wrong. She wrote about it in a recent post on Instagram:
“I graduate from law school one month from today. It’s a big deal to me- I started my education in a special Ed classroom, where my teachers told my parents I would always need extra help. I went on to do very well in school on through graduating with highest honors in high school and college. College was marked by a terrible relationship, incidents of domestic violence, homelessness, and pregnancy with my little girl.
Law school had its struggles, with literally cents in my acct at times, paying my daughter’s medical bills…”
But she refused to focus on the negative or her current situation. Instead, Melonie took a different perspective:
“If my life means anything, it means that…