D.C.

Kadesha Ransom overcomes struggles, heads to prom and college

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At 17, Kadesha Ransom is at the age where all girls are looking forward to their high school prom, graduation and going off to college.

However, what this Washington teenager has persevered through makes this prom night an incredible culmination of strength.

She never thought she'd reach this moment. At the age of 10, she lost her father to diabetes. She then found herself homeless and living out of a car before her mother succumbed to cancer. That left her sister to raise her, but against all odds, Kadesha thrived. She stayed in school, has a 3.75 GPA and plays eight different instruments.

The inspiration for all of this, she says, is her parents.

"When my mom passed, it was really hard for me," Kadesha said. "I know they're watching over me, so they're still here in a way.

Her sister, Nicola Tyler, has nothing but gratitude for the support she and her sister have had as they prepared Kadesha for her dream prom.

"These are things her mom should have been able to do," Nicola said. "I'm grateful to be able to do it with her."

More support came from members of the community to give her the prom she always dreamed of. The Metropolitan Police Department started it all, arranging for the dress, hair and makeup for Kadesha. D.C. Councilmember Yvette Alexander then got in contact with the Elegance with a Smile limousine company, owned by Moses Haughton Sr., which donated a Rolls Royce Phantom to whisk her to the dance.

"If it's something for the community, we are with it," said Rick Bailey of Elegance with a Smile. "We're about spreading love and giving something back."

For Alexander, it's also about showing kids in the District that not only are adults paying attention, they care deeply.

"No matter what obstacles you're going through, there is light at the end of the tunnel," Alexander said.

The dreams don't end on prom night for Kadesha, either. She was accepted to 11 of the 12 schools she applied to, and earned multiple scholarships to study art at Evergreen State College in Washington state.

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