At the age of nine, Tah'dre Adams has firsthand knowledge of true anguish and defeat.
"Last year he was retained," says his grandmother Patricia Ann Batts.
Tah'dre's teachers also say he was diagnosed as being emotionally handicapped.
"Which meant he was going to be in a special classroom, and that's how I got him," adds his teacher at Springwood Elementary, Robin Dowling.
Then, Tah'dre was in the lowest percentile. Today he's the first student to graduate from that special classroom, back into the main stream as an honor roll student.
Tah'dre says it was a promise to an important lady in his life that motivated him to succeed, his grandmother.
Tah'dre Adams says of his grandmother, "She always wanted me to be good, and learn, and achieve, and to listen to the teacher and always get good grades."
"His grandmom has done a spectacular job with him. He got a lot of motivation from her. We're very proud of him" says Dowling.
And grandma says Tah'dre is something special in her life.
"He's the motivation in mine; I love him to death."
And how does Tah'dre feel about his accomplishment?
He's not the first man of few words to succeed.