Local/State

Inspirational graduate looks ahead

Monday, May 17, 2010

Every year, commencement season seems to produce some inspirational stories, but none more than this one from Bethlehem, Pa.

David Fisher of Bethlehem was just a teenager when his world crumbled around him. He came to the realization that he had to make a choice.

"I could either be a kid who's homeless and go nowhere in life," Fisher told Action News, "or I can just rise up out of nothing and show everybody that I really can succeed."

David spent his youth with a bi-polar mother who would later become a drug addict and disappear for days at a time.

David's step-father was a mentally-ill man whom his mother married after his biological father abandoned the family.

At the age of 16, he found himself checked-in to the Valley Youth House in Bethlehem, a shelter for abused and neglected kids. David says he'll never forget his first full day there.

"I went down stairs and sat on a couch and I just kind of broke down for a couple hours and I just kind of sat there and cried."

David says that was the day he decided to rise from the wreckage of his life and become a success.

David is now 22. With the help of counselors from the shelter, and earning money at a local supermarket, David Fisher received his undergraduate degrees in psychology and sociology from Moravian College this past weekend.

Valley Youth House President David Gilgoff says it takes a special person to do what David did.

"The child has to really want to make it work. They have to put the effort into it and have a vision of themselves that they will succeed."

Now, David is hoping his story can be an inspiration to others at the end of their rope.

"The opportunities are out there. Just a little bit of help and you're good to go."

Now, this story does not have a happy ending. Instead it has a happy new beginning. David's dream is to become a sociology professor and this fall he begins his post graduate studies at Lehigh University with a full scholarship.

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