Need a hero?

Claressa Shields, 2012 Olympic Gold medal Boxer

Claressa Shields grew up in rough neighborhoods with an unstable family and was even bullied. None of these struggles ever stopped her.

Shields on Thursday won the middleweight Olympic gold medal. At 17, she was the youngest fighter in the first-ever women’s boxing competition-and she won.

At Flint Northwestern High School only 3 percent of 11th graders met state proficiency tests on the math portion of standardized tests this year and just 66.5 percent of its students graduate in four years. Flint is known for its toughness and high crime rate. The city is listed as one of America’s most dangerous cities. With 44 homicides already this year, Flint is on a pace to break a record-high 66 homicides set in 2010.

Seventeen year-old U.S> Olympic team boxer Claressa Shields prays in her corner of the ring every night, “God has a plan for me, if it’s meant for me to get the gold medal, I will,” Shields said. “I’m thankful though, all glory to God!”

At these Olympics, when the American boxing champion could only be a girl, Shields proved her doubters wrong. And she delivered on the promise she had shown in her young career.

The enormity of what she had accomplished seemed to sink in for Shields only as the gold medal went around her neck, when she grinned and threw her head back and bobbed around. I can’t say I’ve ever seen an athlete so animated ont he podium’s top step.

And as the U.S. national anthem played, Shields sand along-until she couldn’t anymore, because the smile on her face had become too wide.

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