ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A St. Petersburg College student is overcoming obstacles and winning major battles to make it to the graduation stage she never thought she'd reach.

  • Woman overcomes drug addiction to graduate SPC
  • Jill Armstrong says she got sober and pusue education
  • Graduated Summa Cum Lade with a 4.0 GPA

“I made it when a lot of people didn’t think I’d make it, I did. I showed them I could do it,” graduate Jill Armstrong said.

Jill Armstrong said she lost her family members to addiction and battled the disease herself.

“I did not know how to cope with their death so I drank,” Armstrong said.

Armstrong said she decided to get sober about six years ago and found support through professors at St. Petersburg College.

“She’s the kind of person who approaches life and turns barriers into hurdles. She thinks she can jump over that and she does,” Professor Roger Watts said.

She also found help and a safe haven with the campus program "Women On The Way."

“Some of the services we provide are weekly workshops, we have scholarships, textbook lending libraries, we have a clothing boutique,” Program Coordinator Shirley Crumbley said.

Jill is about to graduate Summa Cum Lade with a 4.0 GPA and earn her Bachelor’s degree in Health Services Administration. She said her dream job is to pay it forward.

“My passion is to help people but my dream job would be to be hired on any campus at St. Petersburg College and give back to the students what was so freely given to me,” Armstrong said.

A bright future for a proud graduate whose path to success is just getting started.

Armstrong will graduate Saturday December 8th, at a ceremony at Tropicana Field.