Anaiah Rucker was only 10 years old when she selflessly saved her sister from an oncoming truck. Now eight years after the incident, the hometown hero is starting college on a full scholarship.
Anaiah’s story was publicly documented on ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” back in 2011. The Madison, Georgia fifth-grader was walking her younger sister to the school bus when a truck headed straight for their path. Acting as a protector, Anaiah pushed her sister Camry to safety and lost her leg in the process.
In the aftermath of the incident, Anaiah spent two months in rehab at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. With support from family, her local community, and national well-wishers, the young girl was on her way to recovery. “Extreme Makeover” stepped in to build Anaiah’s family a new home complete with a wheelchair accessible entry, and at that time, Berry College, a private Christian liberal arts college in Mount Berry, Georgia, offered the young heroine a full scholarship.
Last February, Anaiah, who has regained her ability to walk with the help of a prosthetic leg, posted to her Facebook, “I’m a little late posting this, but better late than never, right? Looks like I’m officially a Berry Viking!!” She hashtagged the caption #berry2023 #berrycollege
This week, cameras followed the now 18-year-old college freshman while moving into her campus dorm. “I really never thought I would make it this far. There was a small chance of me surviving,” Rucker told Channel 2 Action News during the big move. “I’m up for a challenge.”
Dr. Steve Briggs, president of Berry College told the news station that the school was happy to welcome a student like Anaiah. “The kind of generosity of spirit and selfless acts you want to see people do … We wanted her to know we respect that and love that,” Briggs said.