Sometimes difficult times show us our greatest strengths, as Aryanna Sanford would probably tell you if you heard her story. Although her son was sent to jail, he was able to get his GED while there and sent her a picture of it, which inspired her to complete her own high school diploma.

When he sent me the picture of it… I’m like, I think I can do that”

However, Aryanna found herself on a rough road as life dealt her curve balls. While she was looking into completing her high school diploma, her mother passed away, but she still decided to enroll in the Matrix Online High School Diploma Program. Then, near the end of the program, her sister was hit by a car and was recovering.

“But my academic coach was so wonderful because Christina talked to me all the time… And mentally I went through a lot, so I’m like, I gotta finish it.”

At 38 years old, Aryanna is not done achieving things in her life either. She would like to open her own hair salon one day to show black women and children that their natural hair is beautiful.