Ja'Nay Carter

Last updated: 2017

Ja'Nay Carter

2017 Beat the Odds Honoree

Life has often felt unfair to Ja'Nay Carter. Being raised in a single-parent home was tough. With five siblings, Ja'Nay's responsibilities included helping the younger ones with homework, grocery shopping, cooking dinner and caring for her sick mother. Ja'Nay's father was in prison most of her life, therefore, unable to provide emotional or financial support. Then, during Ja'Nay's seventh-grade year, her mother's health declined, and she passed away from an autoimmune disease.

As Ja'Nay transitioned from middle to high school, she quickly learned that her most challenging obstacle was living without her mother. After her mother passed, Ja'Nay and her siblings lived with her extended family — her godmother, grandmother, and aunt. With support from her family, Ja'Nay began to rise as a top scholar at school. Pulling from the strength she witnessed from her mother's battle, she used the same vigor to face high school hardships like making friends, completing homework assignments and learning the power of her voice.

The transition was difficult, but her family pushed Ja'Nay to set high goals, all which became a motivating factor to her success. Ja'Nay currently maintains a 4.1 GPA and is committed to serving others in her school and community, and eventually plans to become a nurse.