If you really want something, quitting is not an option.
Evelyn Uba has dreamed of becoming an attorney ever since she was a child growing up in Nigeria. She shaped her entire life around the goal, coming to the U.S. in 1983 to get an education when she was just 18.
Her father always encouraged her to follow her dreams no matter what, but soon after, he suffered a stroke. Although Evelyn promised him that she would finish law school someday, her family’s ensuing financial troubles forced her to take a break from her studies for almost 20 years.
Evelyn went on to get married and have four children, but she never stopped imagining the moment she would fulfill her promise to her dad, who has since passed away — and to herself.
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So when her youngest child turned 2 in 2005, she decided it was time to resume her studies and enrolled in California Southern Law School. It took her several years of juggling parenthood, work, and classes, but eventually she graduated from law school in 2011.
Like all aspiring lawyers, Evelyn was then faced with the daunting task of passing the bar exam. She sat down for the test again and again, but every time she opened her results online, she felt the same crushing defeat.
“I took the exam more than 10 times,” she said. “I stopped counting after a while but giving up certainly wasn’t in my dictionary.”
Evelyn’s children saw her sacrifice and determination firsthand. Every day after work, she would come home and start studying, often missing out on big moments out of necessity. But whenever she considered stopping, they were there to tell her not to give up on her dream.
Then, 10 years after graduating from law school, Evelyn’s family was with her again (both in person and virtually) as she learned that she finally passed the bar exam and is now a licensed attorney!
Her daughter Naeche shared a video of Evelyn’s exuberant reaction on Twitter, which soon went viral. “I started jumping up and down,” Evelyn said. “I had so many reasons to give up, but I knew I just had to keep pushing. I felt so relieved.”
Watching the family’s celebration is heartwarming, especially when Evelyn takes a moment to give her late father’s picture a kiss.
“It was so surreal, and I finally feel like my mom can live out her dream and do whatever she wants with this license,” said Sochima Vincent, one of her daughters.
The new attorney plans to get a job in criminal defense working with low-income individuals. She hopes her story of perseverance will encourage others to never give up on their own dreams, no matter how many times they fail.
“Eventually it’s going to happen when God says it’ll happen,” Evelyn explained. “It might not be easy, but you just have to keep going and never feel sorry for yourself.”
Now that’s inspiring! We’re so proud of Evelyn for all her hard work, and we know she’ll do great things with her new title!
See the incredible moment Evelyn finds out she passed in the video below, and don’t forget to share this story to make someone smile.
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