The fetal alcohol syndrome did not stop her. The hearing and vision impairments did not slow her down. And the teachers who said she would never succeed did not deter her.
Although she did not feel comfortable to walk at her high school graduation, Melody Jensen held her head high in May as she accepted a liberal arts degree from Ivy Tech Community College — Columbus.
That milestone was made possible by the help and support of family and Ivy Tech classmates and professors, she said.
Now, the 21-year-old Columbus resident is set to pay it forward. She will attend Ball State University to major in deaf education.
"I want to show kids they can do everything and anything they want to do," she said. "I want to help kids just like myself. I want to be that cheerleader on the sideline, the buddy and the mentor."
For more on this story, see Friday's Republic.