Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Former foster kid overcame odds, with help from many friends, to earn law degree

By Donna St. George
Washington Post Staff Writer

Friday, May 7, 2010; B01

When Jelani Freeman came home after school one day, his mother was gone. Eight years old, he waited, realizing as the hours passed that she would not be back. She was mentally ill and in need of treatment. His father was in prison.

"I just knew that was it," he recalled.

By the next afternoon, social workers were involved. So began a way of life that he came to know as foster care, a world of in-betweens and stopgaps that brought six moves and inevitable questions about how to get beyond hurt and want and poverty.

On Saturday, against the odds, Freeman will graduate from Howard University Law School, where he has told few of his professors how far he came just to take a seat.......

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