By Julie Peterson, CNN
(CNN) For the more than half a million kids in foster care in the United States, traumatic childhoods are often commonplace. With their home situations constantly changing, students in foster care frequently miss school, and academic growth can be handicapped. Two percent of foster care children go on to earn college degrees, according to the Atlanta-based nsoro Foundation .
But two University of Alabama seniors who faced similar difficult paths in the foster care system have defied the odds to become high achievers on theTuscaloosa, Alabama, campus.
Both Caroline James, 23, and Sean Hudson, 22, entered foster care at age 11. They each describe stories of serious abuse in the homes of their biological families.