Cherrial Odell's father passed away a number of weeks ago. This young girl has had more adversity in her life than almost any child we have ever helped.
We are creating this gofundme to provide for Cherrial what her father Larry always wanted to give her, the opportunity for a great life as a scholar athlete.
Cherrial has had a very tough childhood, including two near death hospital visits, along with very difficult times financially, emotionally and physically. Luckily, Cherrial also has two parents that have given their best to make a very positive environment for their daughter. Living with her mother now, she has never been happier.
Over the past few years, Cherrial has not only rediscovered her love for life, but also a love for meditation, psychology, volunteering, music, and tennis, which have played crucial roles in her her development and growth.
Unfortunately, throughout her continuing journey, finances have been a severely limiting factor. Cherrial’s family has been living in a foundation-owned home for the past 3 years, and due to circumstances largely out of their control, have been unable to fully pay for housing, groceries, and other necessities. While handling the shock of her fathers sudden death with sublime grace, nonetheless this has put her in a challenging financial position.
We are looking to raise support for Cherrial and her family in this trying time, especially around the holiday season, to assist in their journey towards happiness and fulfillment.
Cherrial has three more years left before college, and is part of the Jewel Never Broken Program within the Inspiring Children Foundation. Right now her single mother who makes minimum wage is doing her best to provide for her daughter.
We are looking to help her with the following costs; necessities, housing, food, counseling, leadership development, education, tennis, tutoring, clothing, transportation, and the coaching needed to help a young girl get a scholarship to college, through tennis and academics. Cherrial is a straight A student, and one of the most extraordinary, kind, and soulful young leaders ever to come through our program. We are committed to doing what it takes to help her to survive, strive and thrive. Below is a description of Cherrial's journey in her own words.
Three years ago I remember lying in a hospital bed with no desire to live any longer. Life didn’t feel worth all the pain I was experiencing. I let my circumstances dictate my happiness, and soon I became overwhelmed with sadness, anger, guilt, and resentment.
Both of my parents were struggling and I felt helpless to help them.
During this time in my life I developed a lot of anger and resentment. My life was my dad and when he was having challenges it broke my heart. I made it my responsibility to "save him.” When I couldn't fix everything I began to blame myself.
Soon I was struggling with depression and it worsened at 13 years old. I cut off communicating with my parents, my school grades and attendance dropped, I started to hang out with a negative peer group, and I was constantly experiencing emotional turmoil.
After many wrong choices, visits to the hospital, and breakdowns I found the Inspiring Children Foundation. Through the Foundation I realized three very important concepts. One, we are not the negative thoughts and feelings that come to us. Two, all my negative thoughts and feelings were not true. Three, that happiness is a choice. I realized that no matter what circumstance I found myself in I can maintain happiness by doing the right things in my life, and letting go of my negativity.
The Foundation was the beginning of a magical journey towards the most significant happiness I have ever experienced. Three years ago I decided to dedicate my life to being my best self, following what I knew was right, and taking time to be still, so I can notice and let go of negativity.
By choosing to be my best I was able to heal my relationship with myself, and improve my relationship with my parents, grades, and my overall life. I let go of any hurt, anger, resentment, and sadness I had towards people in my life which has led to some incredible things.
I'm grateful that my mom joined me and supported me on my journey of self discovery and I am overjoyed that we have such a great relationship. I'm also very glad that even through trying times my relationship with my father has been the best it has ever been. I chose to never give up on my dad and when he passed away a few weeks ago I was so glad I made that decision. I was left with no regrets and a very deep spiritual experience. In his passing, I realized there is no dying, that by being connected to God, I feel deeply connected to him. He might physically be gone, but his spirit and the impact he has had on my life will live on forever.
I have a passion for my life that is irreplaceable. I’ve realized my happiness is dependent on the choices I make and have been able to maintain the highest level of happiness the last three years. My life is no longer a constant cycle of misery, but is a constant cycle of joy. For that I thank my parents, my friends, coaches, mentors and the Jewel Never Broken program, especially the mindfulness, group discussions and meaningful relationships I've been able to experience at the Inspiring Children Foundation.
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- Beth Brennan
- John MCGRATH III
- David Galea
- Mable England
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