In one of her final Facebook messages, Vanessa Page Downing channeled ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes to sum up her new attitude toward life: "With a big enuf bar and the right fulcrum I can lift this whole ... WORLDDDDDDDD."
Ms. Downing was weeks away from finishing her welding apprenticeship — and completing her transformation from homeless "Ave Rat" to inspiring role model — when she was killed in a workplace accident June 24. She was just 26 years old but had lived through a lot.
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