Facebook | Faye Lewis

Single Mom Shows Off The Evolution Of Her Work Badges, Proving Hard Work Pays Off

ryan.ford 19 Dec 2018

Everybody has to start somewhere. In your life, chances are you won't have just one job. What you're doing today probably won't be what you're doing five years from now, especially if you have goals in your life.

Carving your career path won't be easy, however. But when the journey gets tough, it's always good to look back and see how far you've come. Faye Lewis did just that when she was having a rough time, and she has become an inspiration to thousands of others.

One evening, while she was navigating the first few weeks of grad school, Faye felt she needed some motivation.

Facebook | Faye Lewis

The single mother has goals in her life, and she's trying to set a good example for her son as well, of course. But it's not easy to balance everything and keep moving forward, and for her, a tragedy in the family weighed on her.

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And so she decided to take out all her old work badges to see just how far she had come in her journey.

Facebook | Faye Lewis

It started where so many others had: Fast food. At 16, Faye started out at KFC just to help her parents out and make a little extra spending money.

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Faye stayed with KFC through college, but despite receiving 11 scholarships, her freshman year was bumpy.

Facebook | Faye Lewis

Nursing school is competitive, so when she got Bs in two of her classes, she missed out, and at the end of her freshman year, she got pregnant. She left university, but was promoted to manager at KFC.

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Now, manager does look good on a resume, and it's great experience and all, but Faye had a goal. She wanted to be a nurse.

Facebook | Faye Lewis

And with another mouth to feed, she took on more work, this time as a housekeeper at a hotel. She worked both jobs while also working on more education, this time as a nursing assistant.

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A nursing assistant, however, is not exactly what she wanted to be.

Facebook | Faye Lewis

Although she upgraded the housekeeping job to one working in the medical field — still working at KFC, too — she wasn't content. So she went back to university, pursuing her associate degree in nursing.

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In that first year of her associate's program, Faye faced her biggest challenge yet when tragedy struck.

Facebook | Faye Lewis

She recalls that a professor once said, "Many students lose their loved ones while in nursing school." At the time, she hardly paid any attention to the macabre warning, but just a few days after she heard those words, Faye's life was tragically changed forever.

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A house fire broke out at her parent's home, leading to great loss felt throughout her entire family.

Unsplash | Chris Karidis

Faye's mother barely made it out, but her father, cousins, and dog weren't so lucky.

"One of my best friends called me hysterically crying," she recalled. "When I heard the news, I dropped to my news."

But, with the help of kind co-workers, her faith, and her remaining family, Faye didn't give up her dream.

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While grieving, going to school, and raising her son, Faye continued to work as an LPN during the days and KFC at night.

Facebook | Faye Lewis

And she powered through, finishing her associate's program in 2014 — and pushing directly into a Bachelor's Degree program. Two years later, she had her completed degree in her hand. She was an R.N.

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That's what Faye had to look back on when she was starting out in grad school.

Facebook | Faye Lewis

That's right, even after all that education and work, Faye isn't done. She's working to become a Nurse Practitioner, having been inspired by one of her professors.

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Best of all, Faye has found herself an inspiration for countless others.

Facebook | Faye Lewis

She posted that picture of her work badges on her Facebook account with the caption "Always remember where you came from!" and it struck a chord. Since her post went up, it has received almost 7,000 comments and more than 185,000 shares.

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Many of the commenters have shared their own career journeys and how they've achieved their dreams.

Facebook | Faye Lewis

Or how they're on their way. Others simply used it to encourage their loved ones who are working toward their own goals, which is a wonderful idea.

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Faye said she wasn't looking for internet fame when she first decided to post the pictures to her Facebook.

Facebook | Faye Lewis

"I had been through a lot, and knew I could do this too," she told Bored Panda. "I didn't post it for attention. I just wanted to have this photo to motivate me through my Doctorate program."

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"I didn't know such a simple post would inspire so many."

Facebook | Faye Lewis

The overwhelmingly positive response to her post has both surprised and touched Faye, who said she is constantly being told by people that "the post gives them hope."

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She also said she's become an inspiration to the most important person in the world: her son, Lewis.

Facebook | Faye Lewis

He understands all the sacrifices she's made and all the hard work she does in order to make sure they have the best life possible together.

"He sometimes asks me when I am on my way out the door: 'Mom, are you going to work of school?'" Faye told Yahoo News. "I smile because he knows how hard I work for him."

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In a message to her admirers, Faye told them to "keep trying. Never give up and stay positive through it all."

Facebook | Faye Lewis

She said that if there's anything her life's journey has taught her, and anything anyone else can learn from her story, it's to remain positive no matter what is thrown your way.

Whether she wants to be or not, Faye is living proof that hard work pays off!

h/t Yahoo, nurse.org

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