If the odds were stacked against you, would you rise to the occasion or learn to forget your dream? Although you may have trouble answering this question, a young man of 17 didn't.

From a young age James Ward knew he was different. He loved to watch the Discovery Channel while others played outside. His dreams included being an astronaut, forensic anthropologist and now a physicist.

At 17, James, his mother and two sisters began living in the Union Rescue Mission in California. But James didn't allow his circumstances to define who he wanted to become. With the help of the community as well as Jessica, a volunteer at the mission who helped him get into college by starting a Tumblr site to raise funds to help him fulfill his dream.

James now attends Howard University in DC. Learn more about his story by watching the Ellen episode below.

Each one of us has the ability to be a "Jessica" for another person by inspiring hope and championing their dreams. Who will you help?