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Carolina Strong: ‘Godsend’ tutor becomes part of family after years of support

It’s commonly said that it takes a village to raise a child, and Ellen Lowry is a prime example of that.

Adelaide Yossa and her daughter Ophelie, now a freshman at Central Piedmont Community College, first met Ellen seven years ago when Ophelie was in need of a math tutor.

“My tutor actually never showed up,” remembered Ophelie. “So I was just like, sitting around waiting around, and miss Lowry, she asked me if I wanted to join her and her other two students.”

Over the years, she’s helped with everything from tutoring, navigating the college process, food access, school supplies and rides.

The Yossa family sees Ellen as a huge support for Adelaide and her 5 children, who lost their father in 2014, five years after the family moved from Cameroon.

“She is a godsend in my family,” Adelaide said.

>>> In the video at the top of the page, hear other families talk about how impactful Ellen has been in getting their children to college and more.


Every day, there are people across the Carolinas doing extraordinary things. They’re giving back, they’re helping each other, and they’re making a real difference. We’re highlighting the best in our community in our series, Carolina Strong.

Know somebody who’s making a positive impact? Let us know here.


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