A senior high school student who’s been on her own since the age of 14 was gifted with a well-deserved brand new car!
18-year-old Asria Canada has faced many obstacles in her young life. She was born into a poor family, with parents who “struggled to keep food on the table and a roof over our heads.” This pushed the independent lass to be self-supporting at the age of 14 with her parents’ consent.
“It has been extremely hard due to not being able to have a job until I was 16 years old,” Asria said. “I at first lived with family friends, but I felt like I wasn’t being independent enough, so I left and spent some nights on friends’ couches. I would either do some chores or, once I turned 16, I would start paying very cheap rent to whoever would rent me a room.”
As soon as she turned 16, Asria got a job and has been working ever since so she could get her own apartment and become self-sufficient. She is graduating from River Ridge High School this year and hopes to attend Pasco-Hernando State College (PHSC). However, paying for her tuition would pose as another obstacle for her already challenging financial situation.
Knowing that there are groups that could help her, Asria turned to Marjorie’s Hope – a charitable organization whose mission is to “provide children a strong foundation for a happy and successful life by meeting needs for school supplies, toys and other necessities.”
“I wrote in my essay to Marjorie’s Hope how I struggled getting to school at times, how living as independently as possible has made it hard for me to achieve in school,” Asria told Yahoo Lifestyle.
After learning about Asria’s background, the organization decided that a means of transportation would be crucial now that she’s going to college. However, they kept their grand plan of giving her a new car a secret.
Asria had no idea that a few of her teachers were in on the surprise. They devised their own ways of checking if the plan was viable. Mrs. Peterson asked Asria how she gets to school everyday, while Mrs. McConnell asked their class if they had their IDs or driver’s licenses.
When they concluded that the plan was feasible, Marjorie’s Hope collaborated with George’s Wholesale Tire Pros and Friendly Kia to gift Asria with a new car.
Asria’s new ride also came with free six months of auto insurance and oil changes.
“I was shocked and really emotional. I tried getting a car before but it broke down on me before I was able to register it in my name, so it really meant a lot to me,” Asria said after she got her new car.
Debi Shackowsky of Marjorie’s Hope said: “Her story just touched our hearts, and to have that much tenacity and perseverance. She’s been on her own since the age of 14 and couch hopped and sometimes didn’t know how she was even going to get to school.”
Now, Asria wouldn’t have to worry about getting to and from her new job at McDonald’s. After earning her degree from PHSC, the teen plans to take up a degree in atmospheric science to become a meteorologist.
Despite the numerous obstacles that she had to face at such a young age, Asria was able to remain strong through it all. The teenager has this to say to people who were inspired by her story:
“You will be able to succeed as long as you try.”
Watch as Asria received her new car in the video below.
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