Ericka Magee is a 22-year-old, Central Michigan University Alum from Detroit, Michigan. From pictures on Instagram and through other social media outlets, you may look at her and think she is a regular college student, but she’s far from it. On May 6, 2017, she posted her a piece of her life onto Facebook and was welcomed with thousands of likes, comments, and shares. Magee is an extraordinary woman, who did not allow herself to succumb to her circumstances or become a product of her environment.

Her Story

Magee doesn’t recall a real family dynamic growing up.

She has two siblings currently ages 10 and 29, but she did not grow up with them, nor was she close with them until recently. Magee does remember being extremely close with her mother, explaining that her mother did everything for her.

She lived with her mother and though she was aware of whom her father was, she did not speak to him regularly. All that changed at age 12, when her mother abruptly passed away from Cancer. “She told me in April that she had cancer, and by June she had passed away. It was really fast,” she explained.

Magee did not have much female guidance after her mother's passing, though she feels like she learned how to be a woman on her own with the use of the internet and YouTube.

Magee also expressed her admiration for her mother in the sense that she watched how she carried herself as a woman. “I think people that could have stepped up, maybe like aunts on my dad’s side, I think they didn’t know how or they didn’t know if I would be receptive to it.” She went on to say after her mom's passing she lost touch with a lot of her relatives, and some that she’s just coming into contact with after 10 years.

Outside of dealing with the loss of her mother, she also struggled with being dyslexic. “Being dyslexic was kind of a struggle because you stumble over words, and teachers want you to read out loud in class and it takes you so long to read because you have to sit there and make out the words,” she said. Magee regrets not telling her teachers that she was dyslexic because they would have been more aware of why she struggled with reading and her homework.

Luckily, her mom caught the disadvantage early and had Magee sit down and read regularly so she could make it through school.

Soon after her mother passed, she moved in with her dad which was a strange transition considering they hadn’t had much interaction prior to this point. “It was sort of an automatic I hate you type thing,” says Magee when she remembers first moving in with her father. However, she explains that when she did warm up to him he was a very hands on dad. “He retired from Ford when I moved in, and anything I needed or if I had a question about anything I could go to my dad,” she said, “and if he didn’t know he would ask someone who did know.” At the age of 21, Magee had to deal with another hardship that she was familiar with.

Her father passed away from cancer in the midst of her junior year of college.

Her Future

Magee graduated with a degree in social work so she can help disadvantaged youth figure out who they are. “A lot of people get pregnant by 15 or 16, a lot of people do not graduate high school, and something needs to be done about it,” she said. Magee analyzed her environment and upbringing and realized that minorities are incredibly disadvantaged and struggle the most.

“From my story I just want people to know that it can be done, and nothing can stop you if you want it bad enough,’ she says, “I never thought about not succeeding, that never went through my head, that was never an option.” Magee has always wondered what can she do considering her environment, to succeed.

From that, she hopes to give other people that same hope and courage to pursue their dreams. She wants people that it does not matter when you achieve your goals, as long as you keep pushing to attain them.

Magee will not stop at a Bachelors degree. She is attending Wayne State University in this summer and planning to be done with her program in the spring of 2018. Following Graduation, she hopes to teach abroad in the Dominican Republic. Then she aspires to open a nonprofit organization that works with children in the foster care system to teach them life goals, plans, and getting on track before they are into the real world.