Top of the Morning, March 24, 2018

Top of the Morning, March 24, 2018

She's 24, living in Phoenix and well on her way to a career as a psychiatrist.

But Cheyenne Hedrington hasn't forgotten her roots.

Her mother, Rhonda Overcast, stopped by News-Gazette Media to drop off Cheyenne's letter, which thanks the many people in Champaign-Urbana who helped her in time of need.

"It's not about the situation that you are in," she wrote, "it is about how you overcome the situtation."

In 2012, then prep sports coordinator Fred Kroner wrote about the obstacles facing Hedrington, who at one point was homeless. With help from coaches and teachers at Franklin Middle School and Central High School — as well as an anonymous donor who made it possible for her attend John Wood Community College — Hedrington used basketball to climb out of the hole. She graduated from Grand Canyon University and is currently pursuing a second master's degree.

"I wanted people to know that I'm doing well," she said when I reached her this week. "And to say thanks."

There's more.

Hedrington, who has told her story to Champaign elementary schoolchildren and has a trophy in her name presented to a Franklin girls' basketball player each year, is working on creating a scholarship that would benefit Central students, "maybe someone who was like me and needs the help," she said. "I'm very grateful and want to show my thanks."

Her letter did just that.

"Thank you again for your support and prayers," it finished. "You all have truly blessed me and my family."