TJ Brinkman received her B.A. in Biology from UNC Charlotte. She earned her degree in spite of years of debilitating, chronic pain and being a working single mother. Today, she is the 7th grade science teacher at West Iredell Middle School. The Statesville Record and Landmark chronicled her inspiring story.
Having been without nurturing parents of her own, Brinkman is thankful that her ex-boyfriend’s mom stepped into that role to help both Brinkman and her little boy.
“My heart told me that I needed to get this degree and help children who were like me,” she says. “My son is going to understand where we came from (because we have struggled together). Together we are going to appreciate the humbleness and strength that accrues when someone overcomes adversity.”