A lesson in courage and tenacity: teens inspire their teachers with success despite personal adversity

CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) -- For much of her life, Synthia Ramage has walked in darkness, but on Wednesday night, she stepped into the light.

"Both of my parents were drug addicts, so we weren't in any kind of stable home ever," said Ramage.

Many at Clovis East High School know Synthia as a brilliant artist, but few know about her tough childhood.

When she was 8-year-old, Synthia's parents became addicted to heroin.

They were repeatedly incarcerated.

There were bouts of homelessness, even hopelessness until her aunt stepped in.

"We would go months without running water, electricity, we got evicted multiple times, it was never ever good," said Ramage."

The "Students of Promise" ceremony honors stories like hers. Some were weighed down by severe medical issues, others struggled in the foster care system.

All 16 of them persevered.

"It's so easy to give up but if you pursue your dreams you might be able to get where I am one day," said James Woolsey, a Clovis North High School student. "I hope you get to where I am one day, because I never even thought I was going to be here."

The ceremony did more than just celebrate their grit and determination. Each student was also given a $2,000 scholarship.

"We all let little things get in the way sometimes," said Michael Avants, the Clovis Unified learning director. "To see these guys and what they push themselves through makes my little problems like 'never mind.'"

A rare night when kids can teach adults a few things about courage and tenacity.
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