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Marquette nursing student formerly in foster care beating the odds

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A soon-to-be Marquette graduate has reached over 200,000 people after a post on LinkedIn went viral.

The post didn't lend business advice, rather the nursing student shared her incredible journey to graduation.

"The moment that he said it, I made a promise to myself that no matter what I was going to be a survivor."

Lisa Koykar is a wife, a mother of 3, and about to be a nurse.

"My foster mom, Deb, she was a nurse. She did home healthcare, and just to see the compassion that she had not just with me but with people within the community. It was just amazing," said Koykar.

When she was 18 and aging out of the foster care system, a judge told her he didn't believe she would succeed.

"One of the last words that he told me was, I will see you in a year in handcuffs,' and being 18 years old, it was kind of a kick to the gut."

Seeing a judge is standard protocol when you age out of foster care. Lisa was in the system for 10 years, and she said she was excited for the independence of emancipation and all she had accomplished after graduating high school. Koykar says she later realized he wasn't speaking directly to her, but to foster children in general.

A month before she takes the stage at graduation, she took to LinkedIn to share her story. It got more than 200,000 likes and over 22,000 comments.

"It has been a whirlwind I never expected it to reach the level that it's reached. When I posted it, I had maybe one or two likes. I went to bed and woke up the next morning and it exploded," said Koykar.

The number of people she reached isn't what Lisa was after. She was hoping to reach someone like her.

"If I could just reach one child and allow them to realize they can do it, I've done my deed."

Koykar will walk in graduation on May 19th.

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