Watch CBS News

Inspirational Student Gets Quite A Reward

MIAMI (CBS4) - Sometimes good things really do happen to good people. Twenty-one-year old Ronald Smith recently learned that thanks to the help from others, some he doesn't even know.

When Ronald was a child, he learned that nothing is easy. His absent father was addicted to crack and his mother stabbed Ronald's sister when he was in second grade, that's when he was removed from the home.

"Life teaches you (nothing is easy)," Ronald said. "Experience is the best teacher."

When Ronald was 15, he was put into foster care, after his mother was shot in the head and killed. But that ignited a deep burning desire to one day become a lawyer.

"He always wanted to be something, be somebody," said Jeanette Smith, Ronald's foster mother.

For the last few years Ronald's been trying to make that happen. He attends Miami Dade College and works full-time as a clerk at the County Attorney's Office in downtown Miami.

But he has quite a commute.

He has to leave his home in Opa-locka at 7 a.m. taking both the bus and the Metrorail. He often doesn't get home until 10 p.m.

"He's really trying to get somewhere and he's trying to make something of himself," said Chris Sanchez, Ronald's co-worker at the County Attorney's Office.

Ronald recently shared his story at the gala for Voices for Children, the Guardian ad Litem Program for abused, neglected, and abandoned kids.

One man who heard Ronald speak offered him a downtown apartment at a reduced rate and it's on the 30th floor. When Ronald found out, he had to sit down because his legs felt weak.

Ronald will pay half the rent and another donor will pay the other half.

CBS4 was there when Ronald opened the door to his new apartment for the first time. He couldn't believe it: New furniture, a television, bed, even a desk on which to study. But his favorite part is definitely the view.

"This is motivation right here," Ronald said. "This is motivation."

Ronald Smith may have grown up learning life isn't easy; but he is now learning sometimes really great things can happen.

Voices for Children is hoping that Ronald will serve as a mentor for other former foster kids who have now aged out of the system.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.