Jasmin Ford received the surprise of a lifetime.

For years, many of us have heard that if you work hard and go to school, you will get a good-paying job and be able to afford decent things in life. In reality, many people invest in continuing education and are then stuck paying off student loans for a large chunk of their lives.

That’s what happened to Jasmin Ford, a nurse in Chicago. She was dealing with a large debt and struggling to pay it off by working two jobs. Then, her bank contacted her.

Graduating With Debt

woman with her young son

When Ford received her bachelor’s degree in 2011, she was the first person in her family to graduate from college. She was proud and didn’t stop there, returning to school to get her nursing degree.

It was tough, especially since Ford didn’t have any family assistance to help her to pay for things. In order to afford necessities like food and rent, plus her tuition, she relied on student loans, reports ABC News.

“I could not foresee when I’d be able to pay it off,” Ford told the publication. “I just knew this was going to be a part of my life as long as I was alive unless there was some significant change.”

Surprising News

At 30 years old, Ford was working nearly every day at two jobs and providing for her two-year-old son, Caleb. She didn’t see an end in sight, but then out of nowhere, Fifth Third Bank contacted her and told her it was paying off her $150,000 loans, free and clear.

“I still can’t find the words,” she said. “I’m off work again today, and I’m just sort of pacing around and restless because I know my life is going to change.”

The bank had selected Ford after she was chosen to participate in a documentary about student loan debt. She thought the crew was coming to her house to shoot some extra footage when they dropped the news.

“The documentary in itself was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” she continued. “I’m a South Side of Chicago nurse and I have a kid, that in itself is not that exciting, and I got to be in a documentary and I met some amazing people on the way.”

A Life-Changing Moment

Ford was surprised by the amazing gesture, and knows it is a game changer for herself and her son.

“His life will be totally different,” she said. “I’m so happy and so proud that I’m able to offer that to him more than anything else because he deserves it.”

Looking forward, Ford is excited to pay it forward with her nursing degree, but also just to have more freedom, both mentally and physically. She wants to spend less time hustling and more time with her family, all while embracing what comes next.

“I can open myself to more experiences, opportunities and just be able to sit and be with my thoughts and be able to pursue what it is I came to do,” she added.

Pushing Through

Ford’s story is a perfect example of the fact that while there’s something to be said for pursuing your dreams and working hard, the road to success isn’t always easy. In fact, sometimes it feels completely riddled with obstacles that may make you want to give up.

But sometimes, good things really do happen to good people. Ford wasn’t expecting this level of help, but she knows just how game-changing it is.

Her story inspires many to hold onto hope and keep stepping forward even when the path is uphill because, in the end, it will somehow work out.

We just need to hold onto faith and, when times get tough, remember to keep pushing through.