Someone once said, “People don’t change.” Though I am unsure who said it, or when, one woman has proven that it’s never too late to take hold of a second chance.
At only 16 years old, Tiffany Hall of Long Beach, California found herself sitting in the back seat of a police car on more than one occasion. Though these routine arrests for drug use could have passed silently, Lt. Jim Foster saw these moments as a chance to reach the teen on a deeper level.
“He treated me like I was human,” Hall recalled. “And not like I was nobody.”
It’s been five years since Hall encountered Foster. Now, she’s decided to thank him for influencing her to find a different path.
Much has happened since Hall’s teen year arrests. While preparing to receive her Bachelor’s degree, Hall knew her graduation ceremony wouldn’t be complete without one attendee in particular.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for you,” she told Foster as the cameras rolled. The officer responded in kind when he answered, “I have more for you.”
Now it appears Hall also wants to make a difference as she pursues a career in social work.
“I tell myself every day, ‘Don’t look back behind because there’s nothing back there. You gotta keep looking forward,’” she said.
Wise words to live by for this former drug addict turned successful college grad; words she will undoubtedly carry with her as she seeks to affect others in the same way Foster affected her.
The sweet moment Tiffany Hall, a former drug addict, is reunited with the @LBPD officer who motivated and encouraged her to get her life together ❤
Tiffany will be graduating with a Bachelors in a few months and is applying for Masters programs 👏🏽 pic.twitter.com/g1Gh2cLizo
— Long Beach Mayor (@LongBeachMayor) April 18, 2018
The two shared a sentimental hug of gratitude following Hall’s speech. The joy spread across their faces was worth more than a thousand words.
“The biggest joy of my professional career is from time-to-time having contact with people who have found their way out of horrible circumstances,” Foster said.
When Hall gifted him a printed graduation announcement, the officer held it up for the cameras with pride.
Hall’s story just serves to show that, despite the bad choices we make, we always have the opportunity to choose something better. No doubt Foster will remember Hall’s ceremony for years to come, and I have a feeling this man was truly touched he was remembered from all those years ago.
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