Profile: The Remarkable Life of CPT Shalela Dowdy ’12– West Pointer, Beauty Queen, Supreme Court Plaintiff

Categories: Grad News, Alumni Profile

You might be tempted to look at CPT Shalela Dowdy 12 ’—one of the plaintiffs in the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark voting rights decision this week—as an exemplar of the American Dream.

And why not? She fits that bill. Then again, who could dream this stuff up?

Dowdy was the oldest of 10 kids growing up in the Roger Williams housing project in Mobile. She and several of those siblings did a stint in foster care in the ‘90s, relying on government assistance and good fortune for survival itself.

Her story could have easily gone terribly wrong. It happens all the time.

But it did not. When she wasn’t helping to raise brothers and sisters, Dowdy committed herself to sports, and to the Junior ROTC program at Murphy High School. She became a track star, and worked her way up to JROTC battalion commander, the top dog.

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