Shaliyah Williams beat her odds.
The 18-year-old East Hall senior was born premature, weighing only 2 pounds and struggling to live.
Doctors doubted her survival, but she persevered.
That beginning has inspired her to be a neonatal intensive care nurse, specializing in premature births.
“The nurses helped me, so I’d like to help other babies who are in similar circumstances,” Shaliyah said.
The job would also allow her to fulfill one of her other life goals.
“I want to make the world better,” Shaliyah, a Gainesville native, said.
Sometimes, when Shaliyah needs an extra push of motivation, her mom reminds her of her small beginnings.
Shaliyah plans to attend the University of North Georgia to begin her education.
She’s still learning how to stick with something even if she doesn’t like it, like math.
“To be successful, you have to get through high school first,” Shaliyah said.
When she’s not studying for exams or focusing on making good grades in math, she also holds a job at the Little Caesar’s pizza chain.
Sometime between graduating college and starting her career, Shaliyah also wants to travel the world. So far she hasn’t made it out of Georgia.