Making a Difference: Franklin grad uses childhood struggles to push herself to succeed

FRANKLIN — Cindy Briscoe has always told her daughter that whatever happens is what’s meant to be.

It all stated at birth, when Alexis “Lexi” McGregor was born premature.

Despite the various struggles, Lexi said she wouldn’t change anything.

That attitude has helped her make a difference in her own life and in so many others’ lives.

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Lexi described herself as ambitious, but it goes further than that.

“I like to show how the past brings a better future,” she said.

It’s something that she knows well.

“She has gone through quite a bit,” said Cindy. “Too many heartbreaks.”

Early on it was just mom and daughter. Lexi struggled in school and was even held back in first grade.

It embarrassed her.

Lexi said she struggled with math and English and couldn’t read very well.

But then, in the third grade, things started changing for the Franklin girl.

“It’s weird. I saw this A on my paper,” she said.

It was Lexi’s first A ever.

And that was all it took to spark something inside her.

A’s quickly became the standard for Lexi and her success carried over to other parts of her life.

Lexi is naturally talented in sports, became president of the National Honor Society, was on student council and volunteered for the Middletown Community Foundation.

Almost everything Lexi set her mind to, she accomplished.

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But there was one thing beyond her control. Lexi’s biological father had never really been part of her life.

“I don’t really talk about it much,” she explained. “I’ve learned to accept that it’s not what I have done, but what he has done.”

A few years back, Lexi visited him in jail.

He was there because investigators arrested him in Texas for not paying Lexi’s child support.

“I needed to tell him it was OK; what you did in the past, it has affected me, but I’m living my life and I’ve been successful,” Lexi said.

Successful is an understatement.

“I can’t help myself from smiling,” said Franklin High Principal Kelli Fromm. “Lexi, she’s the best and the brightest.”

Kelli remembered Lexi’s goal from back in seventh grade: graduate as valedictorian.

“People are better just by being near her,” said Fromm. “She leads by example.”

And sure enough, Lexi accomplished that goal, too, and was named valedictorian.

But during the spring, she was faced with the challenge of paying for college.

She went outside of her comfort zone and applied for scholarships, even though she didn’t think she had a chance against half a dozen other outstanding Franklin students.

But not only did she get a scholarship, she got a $100,000 scholarship from the McLane Foundation.

Despite all her hard work, Lexi said it’s just as much about her mom.

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“She is the one I look up to because I want to be like her,” Lexi said. “I want to take care of my kids like she took care of me.”

Through all the hard work, heartbreak and struggles, she still has a positive attitude.

“It’s a great feeling,” Lexi said. “I still can’t believe it. I wouldn’t change anything.”