We often hear that hard work pays off, but very seldom does it pay off in such a swift and generous manner as how it happened with mom of two Trish Williams, who was determined to get a college degree 15 years after she dropped out of high school. Trish eventually got her GED and then some college, but eventually dropped out of that too due to depression issues. However, it really bothered her. And she wanted to become a teacher. So even though she had a child in kindergarten and a newborn, she decided to enroll in college again. And this time she got her degree. But she also got something else quite amazing -- and from two complete strangers.
Trish worked hard to get her degree while raising two kids. At her commencement address she said:
Over the last two years, I have checked in on discussion boards while cuddling my newborn in the hospital. Typed entire papers one-handed while holding my sleeping son, and read textbooks aloud to my kindergartner because she couldn’t fall asleep and I needed to study.
Her words of grit and determination resonated with a couple in the audience. So much so that they later called the school to find out how they could help Trish with her student debt. They ended up donating $10,000 to her. The school then kicked in with a matching donation. She now has her student debt.
Trish was astonished at the gift from two people who just happened to be impressed with her drive to succeed. She told Yahoo! Shine:
I mean, I don't even know how to tell them how grateful I am. It's incredibly humbling. It helps us financially, but it also helps with my self-esteem. It's been a hard road to get where I am. And I can hold my head up a little higher knowing that someone was impressed with what I had to say and with what I've accomplished.
No doubt Trish will go on to give back by becoming a teacher. She's already begun graduate school. It's amazing the wonderful generosity that exists out there. Always try your best, because you never know who's watching!
Have you ever received a gift from a stranger or given one?
Image via Jason Bache/Flickr