Memphis student overcomes challenges to make her dream a reality

Bright Spot

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As Jacqueline Jackson can tell you, it’s never too late to learn. The 49-year-old is a student at Vermont Law School and is set to graduate next month.

“I always wanted to go to law school. I always wanted to be an attorney. It was intimidating to think about it,” she told WREG’s Symone Woolridge.

The road to get here has certainly had its challenges.

While a student, her father had a heart attack and was placed on a ventilator. Then a year ago, he contracted Covid-19.

“He couldn’t breathe. He was like, ‘I don’t think I’m going to make it,'” she recalled. “I just felt helpless. And I think like a few days later, that’s when we got the call.”

“While I was in school virtually, I was taking care of him,” she added.

Jackson had to bury her father just a few years after saying goodbye to her mother.

In between helping him, she had to take care of herself and her health. Shortly after her mother’s passing, she started noticing her body changing and was told she had systemic lupus.While fighting through that, she learend her kidney was failing. She waited two years before she received a call from doctors.

“They told me that the donor was a deceased donor died of a drug overdose so they had to test the kidney for HIV. They told me it was a potential that I could contract HIV,” she said.

The transplant went well and she is HIV free.

Since then, she’s continued to work hard and take care of herself. She said when she graduates she hopes to practice employment law and help others.

“There are so many miracles that have happened in this world and I just feel like, you’re no exception,” she said.

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