GRAMBLING, LA. (KNOE 8 News) - Essence Brown already walks around Grambling's campus like she's a senior.
"I feel like I was destined to come here," she said.
But she's only a freshman, one who hasn't even started class yet. And one who didn't know if she'd make it to campus.
"It was pretty bad," she said.
On move-in weekend, Brown's mother woke her up in their Albany home, because it was taking on water.
"I went in my room, and water was coming from under my closet," she said, "That's when we gathered all of our valuables, and proceeded to walk out the back door. And water just came, kept coming in. The water outside was about knee deep."
Knee deep in water, they walked out, with just enough belongings to make it to school. Hours later, they loaded up their U-Haul and headed out.
"We were just scurrying around, trying to get things that we'd need," she said.
They arrived at Grambling that afternoon. But, her mom couldn't stay. She had to go back home. After all, their home was still flooded.
"It was kind of hard; it was kind of hard," she said. "I just wanted to make sure my mother and sister were okay."
So other students, total strangers, helped out instead.
"It means a lot," she said. "It really means a lot. It made me feel like 'gram fam.'"
Starting her new life, with a new family, in a home away from home.