Former Homeless MC Student Leading By Example

MIDLAND, Texas (Local 2/Fox 24) - West Texas native using her past to help students futures.

Using her own struggles with homelessness as fuel to help prevent students from making the same mistakes she did.

Brandi Grismore graduated from Lee High School in 1998. From 1998-1999, she attended Midland College and was active in the college's Students in Philanthropy club and MC Latin American Student Society (MCLASS).  She then transferred to Angelo State University.

While attending Angelo State, Grismore learned a tough life lesson.

"With freedom comes a lot of responsibility and I didn't know that. I was excited because I was far enough from home to be dangerous," says Brandi Grismore, Director Of Upward Bound Program. 

Grismore exploring her new found freedom at college, placed her on academic probation for 4 semesters.

 "At the time, the rule was if you are on academic probation and if your living in on campus housing, your financial aid gets cut. My financial aid was paying for the dorm so I was out," says Grismore.

Grismore said she was barely scrappy by financially and her multiple jobs couldn't support her living anywhere else.

For three months Grismore lived out of her car.

"I would try to park under the light, so I could have that kind of security. But I had to put my seat all the way back, so if there was a campus police driving by then they wouldnt see anything," says Grismore.

Cooking food on her car engine and sneaking into the womans locker room to shower. She hit her breaking point.

Gismore graduated early for Angelo State in 2004.
 
Now shes the director of The Upward Bound program at Midland College.

She spends her days encouraging high school students to complete their education and pursue higher education. 

"We service 50 kids from the two freshman schools and the two high schools. We try to give them every option afforded to them so they can make the best decisions possible. For them to know that someone else cares and is going through it with them, is such a big relief because they dont feel all by themselves," says Grismore.

The organization gives students opportunities and assistance for academic, social and personal growth. Including help with career planning, financial aid and scholarships.

Grismore says if she can do it, anyone can.

"Did I have my nights where I was crying? yes. Did I have nights where I wanted to give up? Of course. But through prayer and the grace of god honey, it was just one of those things that you had to do and had to see yourself through. You had to have that perseverance," says Grismore.

Through  The Upward Bound Program, Grismore says she works with some students who are in a similar situation like hers. Homeless, living out of their car or living in shelters.

Grismore says her story helps show them what perserverance looks like.


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