Against all odds: Destiny Carter is now a college graduate

Everybody has a story

by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi

HEATHSVILLE—Like tens of thousands of college seniors this year, Destiny Carter’s final semester was cut short. Her long-anticipated walk across the stage at commencement didn’t happen as she had hoped.

The abbreviated year meant finishing her classes virtually, missing out on many senior traditions and celebrating with classmates via Skype or Zoom. Sadly, these are the new norms but these were only a few of the challenges Destiny overcame to receive that diploma.

The 20-year-old officially graduated from Old Dominion University (ODU) on May 8. She earned a communications degree with an emphasis on public relations. She did it in three years while holding down several part-time jobs and overcoming family tragedies.

“This sounds very cliche, but you can’t give up,” said Destiny. “I could have let the things that happened to me define me and I could have sat around and moped, but I chose not to give up. You have to have a positive attitude.”

Destiny was only 11 years old when she found her 18-year-old brother dead in her family’s home. Craig Owens had just graduated from Lancaster…