An Albany teacher got the surprise of a lifetime this morning.
A 9-11 survivor who has endured more than her share of difficult times won a national contest worth a quarter of a million dollars. She's about to become a business owner.
Charlice Noble-Jones woke up Tuesday morning as a fourth grade teacher. And now, she is joining one of the best businessmen in the country and opening a gym in Albany.
She thought she brought her students to an assembly about health and wellness. Then her life changed.
The woman who was in the World Trade Center on 9/11 and who lost her husband to cancer had finally been overwhelmed for good reasons.
"Things have happened in my life and it has always been like the other shoe has fallen," said Noble-Jones. "But, this has such a positive impact. I believe I'm about to live the life I was born to live."
That life is one as an owner of a Snap Fitness gym in Albany. She entered a contest to open the gym and have all expenses paid. The Founder of Snap Fitness says he is dedicated to helping Charlice succeed in business.
"I'm going to be working with her on a weekly, monthly basis monitoring her marketing her sales," said Peter Taunton. "(I'm going to see) how she is enjoying the community. Everything, providing a benefit for this area."
Noble-Jones says this is big for her son and he is excited.
"He said: 'did we win?' I said 'yes'. He said 'we really won?' He asked about five times and the next question was 'when do we open?' So, he's ready."
She struggled to find words for how today changed her.
"It was a normal day that is the first day of the rest of my life. Let's just put it that way."
Owning a gym had become a dream for Noble-Jones after she spent the last few months trying to improve her own physical fitness.
Charlice Noble-Jones teaches social studies at Lamar Reese Magnet School.
She says she wants to continue teaching, at least for a couple of years while she gets her business off the ground.
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