06/25/2012 12:45 pm ET Updated Jun 27, 2012

Amanda Lamond, Mom Who Once Relied On Welfare, Becomes ER Doctor

When Amanda Lamond was 18, she learned that she was pregnant. Doubters told her to forget pursuing a career in medicine.

"There were people that told me, 'You won't make it through medical school. There's no way you can do that with a child,' Lamond told ABC News. "And I said, 'Why can't I have my baby and still become a doctor?'"

The determined college freshman refused to listen to what others had to say. She moved in with her parents, continued her studies and got the critical help she needed from CalWORKS, a welfare program that gives cash aid to struggling families.

Her persistence eventually paid off.

Lamond was named valedictorian of her college class, completed medical school and earned the role of chief resident. Come August, the now-married mother of three will begin her career as an emergency room doctor at the Palomar Medical Center.

"No matter what people tell you," Lamond told ABC News, "you can make your dreams come true."

Lamond is one of many single moms to get help from welfare to get her career off of the ground.

When Trisha Waldron turned 28, she decided she was fed up with just trying to make ends meet, Yahoo reports.

So the mother of two young girls applied for student loans, went back to school and subsisted on welfare, food stamps and odd jobs while she pursued her greatest passion: jewelry making.

After getting a job at a mail order catalogue, Waldron bravely asked her boss if she could design the company's entire line of jewelry, according to Yahoo. He agreed, and just a couple years later the South Dakota mom incorporated her own company. Within five years, her company, Trisha Waldron Designs, reached $1 million in sales.

"Getting there was incredibly challenging,” Waldron told Yahoo. “I learned by trial and error, I cried a lot. But I lived simply and didn't need much to survive.”

Check out more inspiring Greatest People of the Day below:

Greatest People Of The Day