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From homeless, to head of the class

READ MORE: From homeless, to head of the class
Each student at Friday's CFCC graduation rehearsal has a different story of how they got to this point. Thirty-nine year old Lorie Pacheco's is particularly inspiring. "I lived on the streets for two an a half years. I didn't think anybody was ever going to help me again," she said. For 2 years, Pacheco spent long nights studying to become a paralegal. Those nights were spent in a homeless shelter. After bouncing from town to town, and living on the streets, Pacheco eventually found help in Wilmington. She found a temporary home at First Fruit Ministries, a women's transitional housing shelter. A roof, a warm bed and plenty of encouragement gave her what she needed to go back to school. "Those are the outcomes we want for everybody that comes here," said First Fruit resident director Donna Venezia. "Whether it's a simple 'I want to get my GED' to 'I want to go all the way, a Master's degree.'" Pacheco said heading back to school did come with some apprehension. "I was a little nervous at first because there is a stigma attached to the homeless. Homeless doesn't equal stupid or lazy, it's just a circumstance, and you can overcome it," she said. It's a message Pacheco has passed on to many women back at the shelter. Five others have since enrolled at Cape Fear Community College. "What your age, what your circumstance, there is help and don't be afraid to ask for help." 600 students including Pacheco graduated Friday at the Schwartz Center. Pacheco already has a job lined up at Hagar & Associates law firm. She plans on getting her Bachelor's degree, and then applying to law school. She's had luck personally as well. Pacheco gets married Saturday.

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Thanks to those who supported Lorie on her way

Not only are congratulations in order to Lorie, they are also to be shared with the people who made her success possible. Programs like First Fruit Ministries, which provided a safe home, dinner every night, and care for Lorie, so that she had the opportunity to attend college and achieve such heights, should be commended. The donors who give their money to pay for that are the ones who should be proud that it was their gift that gave Lorie the tools necessary for her to do so well. It was Lorie's hard work, and their generosity, that made it all come together.

Great News Story

Thanks to WWAY for a great news story. To contrast this with the gloom and doom news baout the housing projects and how nobody will never do nothing for no-one in the projcts. This is a person who took initivative and succeeded. Thanks again WWAY and kudos to Pacheco for going through with bettering herself!!


What a great story, much better than the stories about the still complaining local welfare recipients that sponge off us. My son is on his last semester at CFCC. He has gone full time while holding down a full time job, raising a family and managing to buy his first home at 23. NO EXCUSE for anyone is there? Just laziness pure and simple. Good luck to this lady.


"Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of seems to me that she she decided NOT to be a "VICTIM" but instead did something about her situation and has claimed "VICTORY" over her circumstance. Another example of how a "Hand Up" works better than a "Hand Out" for all of us. Way to go Lorie, KUDOS to you and hoping much success for your life going forward

Great job

I wish her message could rub off to some of the lazy that expect the government to take care of them. Good luck with your career.

Now here

is an inspirational story. Not a native of Wilmington; no local support group to help her such as family. Lived on the streets for over 2 years. Went back to school while living in a shelter. Mentored at least 5 persons, in similar circumstances to take charge of their lives. Now a promising job and future. On the other hand, we have those content to spend a lifetime on "entitlements" and live off the sweat of hard working taxpayers. In fact, it appears in many cases they pass that contentment and lifestyle on to a new generation. It's one thing for those who are physically unable to be on government hand outs. It's quite another for those physically able who choose to remain leaches on society's payroll rather that follow this person's lead and take charge of their lives. Here's another reason for "term" limitations on government hand outs for those who are physically able yet choose to live off society rather than be self supporting. Don't say it can not be done; don't say I do not understand. Here's someone who walked the walk and talked the talk. She took control of her life and apparently has a great furture before her.

Is this Wonderwoman?

No...just a strong-willed person who set her mind on what she wanted to do and DID IT. It's amazing what you can do when you forget the words, "I can't." Lorie, congratulations on re-gaining control over your life and proving that life is indeed what YOU make it.