MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis mother and her two children are beating the odds.

“I got evicted on October 24th, the day after my birthday,” said Laquetta Wiseman.

For the next 10 months in 2014, Wiseman and her two kids, Alvin and Aranasia Miles, would live from hotel to hotel across Memphis.

“That was the first time I felt like a failure. The very first time I had to pay for a hotel room and even then I paid for the room and came out, I was trying to wipe my tears. I didn’t want them to know I was crying,” Wiseman said.

With a 7th grader and 5th grader in tow, Wiseman said she did the best she could.

“We (weren’t) the family that had (a) big house, big car (or) silver spoon, but (we) always had what we really needed which was core love and family,” Alvin Miles said.

While hotel hopping, Wiseman turned her focus to volunteering at American Way Middle School where her son, Alvin, was a star basketball player.

“We still had shoes we wanted, plenty clothes and somewhere to live. It was normal for us. I didn’t miss a basketball tournament. My mom didn’t miss one,” Miles said.

In the midst of pain that few people knew about, Wiseman discovered her passion.

“I felt like I was doing what I’m supposed to be doing. Naturally I pulled (the children) in groups. They would listen to me and not listen to the teachers. They didn’t know me. I guess it was my presence,” said Wiseman.

Volunteering led to a permanent position, career and diploma. In 2017, Wiseman went back to school and got her diploma from Memphis Goodwill Excel Center at 35 years old.

Wiseman set the standard for Alvin, who graduated in 2020 and Aranasia, who recently graduated from Whitehaven High School.

That makes three huge accomplishments after years of huge challenges.

“We were supposed to go through it. It’s just something they can carry on like ‘we were homeless.’ You have no excuse!” Wiseman said.

“We always had faith and knew it wouldn’t be like this forever. To be on other side and see my mom get her diploma, my sister just got her diploma and now I’m in college – it feels great. That is what you get from sticking through.” said Miles.