ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — More than 2,000 graduates walked across the stage Saturday at Tropicana Field with diplomas from St. Petersburg College.

  • Nikki Wright faces many challenges on way to Saturday
  • She is advisor for Women on the Way
  • On Saturday, she graduated from St. Petersburg College
  • More Good News headlines

One of those graduates overcame struggles throughout her life and now helps other women reach their goals.

Nikki Wright is a mother of two and works as the Student Support Advisor for Women on the Way, a program at St. Petersburg College that helps women succeed.

"I do this because it's my way of giving back but also sharing my story hopefully to inspire women," said Wright. 

Wright says she grew up witnessing her father abuse her mother. Then in adulthood she found herself without a job and without a home while caring for her 3-year-old son.

"The only thing I knew to do was sleep in the car with him," said Wright.

That lasted a few weeks until Wright found a job.

"I always kept a smile on my face. Tried to not be a victim of my circumstances. I always wanted to be known as a victor," said Wright.

She overcame obstacles and finally accomplished one of her goals on Saturday: walking across the stage to get her diploma.

"I'm overwhelmed with excitement and joy," said Wright.

She has big plans for the future, which include getting her master's degree. Wright says she wants to continue her work with the "Women on the Way" program to ensure others can achieve their dreams. 

"It was a breath of fresh air. It's been a long time coming and she just did great. I love you mom," said Gavin Wright, Nikki's son.