It is never too late – whether you want an epic romance, a better job, or, in the case of Ginny Burton, 48, a whole new life.
This mom from Washinton overcame addiction, traumatic childhood, and recently graduated from the University of Washington.
Ginny's parents were both selling and using drugs. At the age of six, Ginny's mom gave her the first marijuana joint.
At 14, she used crack, and by the time she was 21, she was addicted to heroin.
Ginny was raped when she was in her late teens, and she tried to commit suicide after this tragic event.
By the time she was 23, she had two children and was in an abusive relationship. It only pushed her more into the dark world of substance abuse.
One of her low points was when she robbed Mexican drug dealers at gunpoint and stole cars.
Ginny's children were eventually removed from her care.
She told KATU:
"When you're stuck on the street, and you smell like feces, and you haven't showered in forever, and you can't make it into a social service during working hours because you're too busy trying to feed your addiction, and your addiction is bigger than you …and you've compromised your integrity a number of times over and over and over again, and you're starting to be victimized by the people on the street … you're hopeless."
After 17 serious convictions and staying in jail three times, she thought about turning her life around.
But her time came a bit later, in 2012.
The Arrest That Saved Ginny's Life
In 2012, Ms. Burton was arrested for crashing a stolen truck into a tree during a police chase.
This time, she knew it was time to sober up.
She got involved in the Drug Diversion Court program, and Ginny is now a college graduate.
After taking classes at South Seattle College, she enrolled at the University of Washington. In 2020, she was named the 2020 Truman Scholar.
The Tacoma native is now living in a small town, mending broken relationships, and finishing a master's degree.
When Ginny shared her story on Facebook, little did she would become a hero for many.
People loved her honesty, and her page was filled with positivity.
One person wrote:
"You got this. My daughter is a recovered addict. She also was able to turn her life around and is doing so well now...much love, girl - you rock."
Others were praising her strength and congratulating this woman who beat the odds.
Here are some of the uplifting comments:
We hope that Ginny Burton's story helped you understand that it doesn't matter where you came from. It is about finding inner strength and being open to the possibility of starting over.