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Woman overcomes addiction and graduates with a goal of criminal justice reform

A recent University of Washington graduate is making waves on social media, inspiring others to...
A recent University of Washington graduate is making waves on social media, inspiring others to pursue their dreams.(Matt Rourke)
Published: Jun. 4, 2021 at 3:31 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 4, 2021 at 3:32 PM CDT
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(Gray News) - A recent University of Washington graduate is making waves on social media, inspiring others to pursue their dreams.

“I honestly thought I’d die on a park bench with a needle in my arm or by gunshot to the head,” Ginny Burton wrote in a post on Facebook. “I would’ve never in a million years thought my life would look the way it does today.”

How about that for motivation? I honestly thought I'd die on a park bench with a needle in my arm or by gunshot to the...

Posted by V Ginny Burton on Friday, May 21, 2021

Burton, a mother of three, decided to go back to college in her 40s after being frustrated with the criminal justice system.

According to the University of Washington, the political science major has experienced addiction and incarceration first-hand. She recognized an opportunity to earn a degree that would help her advocate for prison and criminal justice reform.

Burton was awarded the prestigious Truman Scholarship her junior year, selected based on her outstanding leadership, civic engagement and potential to pursue a career in public service.

She graduated from the Political Science department at the age of 48 and plans to get a master’s degree.

“Most of my journey was not graceful, however, it has been beautiful and TREMENDOUSLY painful. But, I would not change a moment of it,” Burton posted on Facebook. “This is just the beginning for me. I share openly so others know there is hope for them to change.”

Burton is grateful for becoming involved with a non-profit organization that stood beside her as she pushed through her past.

“The non-profit helped when I needed it and they cheered me on as I climbed out of hell,” she added in the post. “Sometimes that is all it took, a section of folks to tell me I am doing the right thing and to keep going.”

Thank you everyone for your love, support, and sharing my story. More than 90 people have shared the post of me in...

Posted by V Ginny Burton on Saturday, May 22, 2021

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