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Super Bowl LV leaves lasting legacy for Seffner mom who went from homelessness to helping others

Alexia Shepard now studying to be a nurse
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Posted at 5:44 AM, Aug 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-12 08:27:41-04

SEFFNER, Fla. — Alexia Shepard is enjoying the momentum of a life finally going in the right direction.

"I just keep chugging, chugging, chugging," the single mom of two young children says. "It feels like blessings on blessings."

Not too long ago, Shepard was out of work, a victim of the pandemic. And soon after that, she was homeless and her family was living in a car.

Shepard has since become a media darling as much for her uplifting outlook on life as for her good fortune to be blessed by Super Bowl LV.

Shepard, son Chase and daughter Harmonii Nicole are one of 19 area families to be beneficiaries of Forever 55, a Super Bowl LV legacy grant worth $2 million of the NFL's money.

Forever 55 was run by Rob Higgins and the Super Bowl Host Committee, which partnered with such local nonprofits as Metropolitan Ministries and Feeding Tampa Bay.

"Alexia is a living example of what can happen when we invest in families and people in need," says Metropolitan Ministries' Tim Marks.

Shepard was given a fully furnished apartment at Seffner's SabalPlace.

She now has a job at Baycare, and is studying to be a nurse.

She'd also like to do social work in the future, paying it forward and helping lift up others during their low moments.

Maybe even at Metropolitan Ministries.

"You just need that faith in yourself," says Shepard. "Just think, a year ago, we were on the streets in a shelter. And now look?"