"Because of you, I didn't give up"

Brittany always had a fear of becoming a product of her environment while growing up in a home where at least one or both parents excessively abused alcohol and drugs, both inside and outside the home. Her neighborhood was filled with poverty, drugs, prostitution and violence.

By the time Brittany was in middle school, she attended six different schools. Her surroundings limited her ability to see herself move beyond her life situation until she met Ms. Hardy, a site coordinator for CIS of Atlanta at Booker T. Washington High School.

Ms. Hardy allocated resources to help Brittany achieve academically and in life. Going to college was never discussed in Brittany's household, but after receiving CIS services, pursuing a college education became the only option for her.

Brittany attended a two-year community college to earn her associate's degree in social work. She continued to further her education at Georgia State University where she graduated at the top of her class with a bachelor's degree in social work. As of July 2015, Brittany graduated from the University of Georgia with a master's degree in social work. Her passion to give back is a result of Ms. Hardy's influence and her life experiences.

Check out Brittany's amazing life journey of perseverance through a photo-voice project she created while in graduate school: Click here!

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