A Chattanooga mom who defied the odds by graduating from law school is celebrating another milestone with three kids in tow.
“I had every reason to not make it,” said Johnika Everhart on Tuesday morning.
The journey to graduating from Nashville School of Law school in May 2018 was anything but easy.
“Children, working full time, personal issues,” she said of her challenges, “But I think that’s what makes us stronger.”
Strength Everhart’s mother saw firsthand as her daughter fought the daily grind for four long years.
“When I rode to Nashville with her a couple times that’s really when I realized how challenging and she was to be commended,” said Mildred Geeter in 2018, “I was just tired looking over in the passenger’s seat.”
Johnika says it was all worth it to walk across the stage and earn her degree.
“I don’t think I would have been able to make it without God first, but without a support system,” Everhart said, “Without them, I would have failed.”
She reached one goal, but was not at the finish line. Everhart still had to take the Bar exam to become a licensed attorney.
“The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life,” she said. “The most preparation I’ve ever had to do for anything.”
After eight months of studying, Everhart passed the test last February which led working up to being sworn in September 11 as a licensed attorney in Tennessee.
“To be overwhelmed with so much support from my family, friends, and sorority sisters,” Everhart said of that special day, “It was an amazing feeling.”
The feeling of accomplishment, being an example and not making excuses.
“I had to set the standard and leave a legacy for my kids,” Everhart said. “Despite any obstacle that you may have, you can reach any goal that you set.”
She is looking for her first job in the field. Everhart is pursuing a career as a criminal or civil attorney. She says being sworn in was a great early birthday present as she turns 30 years old September 18.
Everhart says before being sworn in she was required to take a state law course and an ethics test.