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      Striving families go from no GED to PhD

      Seven families are living proof that the concept for a 'hand up and not a hand out' actually works.

      After two and a half years, Strive 2 Thrive has graduated its first class of families out of poverty.

      During Thursday TMs ceremony, these families told their story of success. Many are single mothers who, in-spite of trials, achieved their high school GED or their associate TMs degree.

      There are even a few graduates who've completed their bachelor's degree and are now working on their doctorate degree.

      It really takes for a person to be stable in the mind to make the choice to be a part of Strive 2 Thrive and I made that decision. I really got tired of trying to do things on my own, said Shanika Owens.

      The founder of the national Circles program also made a trip to Albany to celebrate this milestone with the graduates.

      Stay connected to as stories develop and the FOX 31 Newscast at 10 PM. Visit us on Facebook and Twitter to join in on the conversation and connect with FOX 31!