From Dark Past to Bright Future

Chernell Bizzell’s first night spent in an old, abandoned yellow-brick house was a reality check.

At 16, she had hit rock bottom. Her addiction to crack-cocaine had her living in squalor among addicts who were 30 years in, eating out of dumpsters and wandering the streets during the day. Yet even in her drug-induced haze, her dream for a better life never dulled.

Today, the 35-year-old readies herself for Dec. 17, 2011, the day she tops the summit. She will receive a bachelor’s degree in African American Studies from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She plans either to go to law school or get an advanced degree in counseling.

Commencement marks student’s transition from dark past to bright future from uabnews on Vimeo.