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In a human interest story spotlighting Students Rising Above, an organization invested in improving the lives of low-income youth through education, CBS Oakland interviewed Elexis Webster, one of SRA’s brightest stars.

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Elexis says she struggled with devastating circumstances as a young child. “I grew up on the streets with an abusive drug addict for a mother, along with an older brother who molested me countless times, plus constant sickness. My life wasn’t a life, it was a war zone,” she wrote in her application to SRA.

Her family lived on the Oakland streets, including stints in hotels and a dug out car, while they searched for shelter. Due to the stressful environment, Elexis said she developed a low immune system and fell ill, severely impacting her school attendance. She missed three years of school due to the circumstances.

One afternoon at the age of 14, police found Elexis and her sister sitting inside a car unattended. Her mother was arrested. The two sisters were placed in foster care under the tutelage of a woman Elexis affectionately calls “Mema.”

She says under the care of Mema, her life made a dramatic turn for the better. With Mema, Elexis feels safe and empowered.

Elexis is now a junior in high school with a 4.1 GPA and has her sights set on collegiate success thanks to mentoring and support from SRA.

“It’s unbelievable to say that I went through that. I see success. I see happiness and I see peace,” she tearfully said.


SOURCE: CBS San Francisco | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty

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