Never give up on your dreams, and never stop believing in yourself. Meet long jumper Quanesha Burks, competing for a gold medal at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Quanesha was raised by her grandparents as a teen and worked at McDonald’s to help support her family and as a way for her to attend college in the future.
Growing up, Quanesha has always loved and excelled in sports. However, it wasn’t until she got to High School that she soon realized that she had a special talent in the track & field long jump heat that could earn her a scholarship to college. So Burks researched what it would take to get a full scholarship and set a plan in action to accomplish her goal.
By the time she graduated from Hartselle High School, she had already earned 11 state track titles and a scholarship to the University of Alabama. Burks has had her share of ups and downs and challenges to overcome to get to where she is now. In 2018, she finished fourth at the World Athletics Indoor Championships. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic shut down most sporting events, leaving her stuck with nothing but to continue believing in herself.
“It’s a blessing to be the one from my hometown in a small community, really just representing myself, but Hartselle, the University of Alabama and the state of Alabama,” Burls told CBS NEWS-19. “Knowing that I’m representing us in Tokyo is just a blessing; it’s an honor, and I’m so proud of the other Olympians.”