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Kenneth Evans checks the ramp of the stage set up in Cameron Stadium as Cameron University prepares for tonight’s commencement exercise.Tammy Hornbeck, Comanche, shows off her hard-earned cap and gown on the Cameron University campus.

Woman takes hard road to graduation night at Cameron

Life has not been easy for Tammy Hornbeck  but thanks to her faith, perseverance and the support of her loved ones, she will be a college graduate after walking across the stage at Cameron University's commencement ceremony tonight. 

Hornbeck, a Comanche resident, will graduate with a bachelor's degree in English, with an emphasis in creative writing.

She had a rough start in life. Hornbeck said she was the youngest of eight children in a family that often had dysfunctional priorities. 

"Education and learning were kind of frowned upon, actually," she said.

Hornbeck said she was bounced back and forth between her mother and father, both of whom were abusive.

Her parents and family members gave her a hard time because she liked to read.

"Reading really saved my life," Hornbeck said. "I escaped into my books and that's how I dealt with the abuse at home."

After coming forward about her father abusing her, Hornbeck ended up living in group homes from ages of 14 to 17.

She went to court and achieved emancipation at 17 so she could move in with the house parents she had been dealing with in a group home setting for about four years. But that situation didn't turn out well, so she ended up leaving their home and dropping out of high school.

Hornbeck found herself alone with nowhere to go and no high school diploma at 17. Soon she met her first husband and married. 

The Lawton Constitution

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