By JB Clark
TUPELO – Boys and Girls Club teens heard from a Fullbright Scholar who came from a similar background as many of the club members.
RaiNesha Miller grew up with her brother in a single-parent home in Birmingham, where her mother worked two jobs to put them through school.
Speaking to the students on Thursday, Miller asked how many of them were familiar with the challenges of living in a single-parent home and the sacrifices single parents have to make. Almost every hand went up.
“I grew up in Birmingham to a single mom,” she said. “We didn’t have a lot of resources, but she instilled in us the mentality that I can whatever I put my mind to.”
Miller graduated from Bowdoin College cum laude in 2013 and has spent the time since teaching English in Indonesia.
She asked the students to tell her about times they’ve felt like the people around them were better.
One girl raised her hand to tell about how intimidating it can be to be surrounded by advanced students at school.
Miller told the students not to worry when they feel like their counterparts are performing better.
“I didn’t let that get me down,” she said. She said once she overcame self-doubt, she was able to graduate top of her class in her Birmingham private school.
She told the students to take all of their opportunities and to keep a positive attitude.
“You’re only going to be as good as you think you will be,” she said.