MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Classes at Alabama State University begin Wednesday. This year marks a fresh start for freshman Ivry Hall.
Hall's journey to ASU is a testament to how the 18-year-old continues to beat the odds. Becoming an Alabama State University Hornet was a dream for Ivry Hall.
"This was the college I have wanted to come to since I was a freshman when I started researching colleges," said Ivry Hall.
With hard work and dedication he has been able to make his dream a reality.
"By the grace of God I am here and I am loving it. It is starting to feel like a family," said Hall.
Hall's journey has been different then most of his peers. Hall grew up on the Southside of Chicago in Englewood.
"Before I was 12 I was selling drugs. I was robbing people. I was doing something of everything in the book," said Hall.
At the age of 12 his mother died.
"My mom was my role model, my superhero. She was everything," said Hall.
Using his mother's passing as motivation, he got serious about school.
"My brothers and sister had already dropped out of school. So, knowing she is watching over me from heaven, I just want to make her smile in heaven because I couldn't do it while she was here," said Hall.
Through church, sports, and a boxing gym Hall got on the right path.
"In the ring you will fight until the end of the fight and you take a break when it is all over. You give it 100 percent," said Hall.
With this philosophy he was able to push through the loss of his father his senior year of high school, and went on to becoming valedictorian.
"I don't believe in giving up. Whatever challenge it is, God put you here to put you through challenges. So push through until you get it," said Hall.
Already those at ASU are already taking note of Hall.
"His story is really powerful and moving and we are so happy to have him here at ASU," said ASU Director of Admissions and Recruitment Freddie Williams Jr.
"I want to be another step of a role model. I want those looking up to me to be better than I am," said Hall.
Now this young man has the Hornet Nation behind him as he continues to beat the odd.
"We want to make to make sure he is successful like the rest of our students. We know he is going to do great things," said Williams.
Hall has his sights set on graduating in four years with a degree in Business. From there he plans to open his own business to help others.
Hall is one of more than a thousand freshmen who enrolled in ASU for the 2018-19 academic year.