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Thursday, July 5,2012

Unlikely Comeback

By Mort Crim  

Hardships, poverty and want are the best incentives, and the best foundation for a person’s success

-- Brandon Merrill

If you want to be inspired, pick up the book Project Girl by Janet Macdonald. You’ll marvel at the achievements of this impoverished girl born in the Brooklyn housing projects — a girl who graduated from high school at age sixteen but was so naive she didn’t know she should already have applied to colleges. Kids she knew simply didn’t go to college.

Today most all her childhood friends are either on drugs or dead. So what happened to Janet She managed to get into prestigious Vassar College. Spent her junior year in Paris. Then, law school at Cornell and New York University. Then, a journalism degree from Columbia.

Her book details incredible struggles, setbacks, and challenges during her remarkable journey. And that’s the point. With motivation and determination, it is possible to break out of the projects and build a life. Janet is convinced that there are lots of really smart kids out there who simply don’t recognize their own abilities. So powerful, so persuasive is Janet’s book that it’s being considered as required reading in New York City high schools.

For all the changes in her life, the one thing Janet won’t change is the tattoo of a raging lion on her shoulder. That, she says, was a part of who she was. And still is.

Failure doesn’t have to be final. Janet Macdonald’s life is a fresh reminder of how spectacular setbacks can be followed by unlikely comebacks for those determined to succeed.


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