1. Michael Sam Chris Lee/St. Louis Post-Dispatch / MCT In the 2014 draft, Michael Sam broke barriers to become the first openly gay player in the National Football League. But that barrier was not the only thing he had to overcome before becoming a professional athlete. His upbringing in Hitchcock, Texas, was rough, including a stint where he lived in the back of his mother's car. 2. J.K. Rowling AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, FILE In the early '90s, J.K. Rowling was a single mother in Edinburgh struggling to support her child and living on welfare. She was looked down upon by members of her church as "the unmarried mother." After numerous rejections, she finally sold the first Harry Potter book for about $4,000. Now, she's richer than the Queen. 3. Jay Z Mario Anzuoni / Reuters Jay Z's early years were spent growing up in the Marcy Projects in Brooklyn, which were notorious for their problems with drugs and violence. While Jay Z himself dealt drugs for a time, he turned to rap at an early age to escape the problems that plagued Marcy Projects. Now, Jay Z has not just his rap career, but is also an established clothing and sports entrepreneur. 4. Albert Einstein Handout / Reuters Considering that he would go on to become the most celebrated genius of the 20th century, it's surprising that Einstein was a dropout from his school in Munich who later went on to fail his entrance exam to a Zurich polytechnic school. 5. Oprah Winfrey Danny Moloshok / Reuters Born into poverty in Mississippi, Oprah lived a childhood where she wore potato sacks as overalls and had a pet cockroach. Even under these circumstances, she showed an interest in becoming a host and an interviewer. According to The Guardian, "she would mock-interview her doll and the crows on the fence outside her grandmother's home." Now, the little girl who interviewed crows is worth nearly three billion dollars. 6. Channing Tatum AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau Channing Tatum admits that there wasn't a lot of money in his house when he was growing up. Before he became an actor, he worked as a stripper. While many may see stripping as a less-than-ideal job, Tatum says it helped his career as an actor later down the line. "Being a stripper exposed me to a lot of people I might never have met, and that has turned out to be a gift,” he says. "There are lots of characters I feel I can play as a result." 7. Shoni Schimmel Michael Loccisano / Getty Images Shoni Schimmel takes her position as a Native American role model very seriously. She says that not many Native Americans make it off the reservation, so she has to make the most of the opportunities she has been given. She's certainly done that. When she was drafted to the Atlanta Dream earlier this year, she became the highest Native American drafted in WNBA history. 8. Eminem Jeremy Deputat/Casio via AP Images Eminem was an outcast in every school he attended, and he attended a lot because he and his mother frequently moved between different housing projects. He failed the ninth grade three times and remembers that he was "beat up in the bathroom, beat up in the hallways" and "shoved into lockers." He rose above it to become one of the most accomplished rappers of his generation, earning 13 Grammys. 9. Susan Boyle David Moir / Reuters / Reuters When she was born, Susan Boyle was deprived of oxygen long enough to cause mild brain damage, which led to her being diagnosed with learning disabilities in school, as well as teasing from classmates who called her "Simple Susie." At 47 years old, the then-unemployed Boyle auditioned for Britain's Got Talent and shocked the world with her singing voice. According to Susan's website, "it was as if the world was about to offer its first unspoken apology for prizing beauty above all else." 10. Misty Copeland Bryan Bedder / BET / Getty Images In a world where, according to her, "ballet has long been the province of the white and wealthy," Misty Copeland stands out as a black ballerina who grew up anything but wealthy. When she was growing up, there wasn't always enough money for food, never mind ballet shoes. Despite this, she joined the American Ballet Theatre, where they told her she "needed to lose weight, though those were not the words they used...instead, the more polite word, ubiquitous in ballet, was lengthening." After her perseverance, the company came to realize, in Copeland's words, "that my curves are part of who I am as a dancer, not something I need to lose in order to become one." Sometimes, the best way to change the game is to be yourself. Brought to you by Rebel Music, an MTV Facebook Exclusive. Watch it now. View this video on YouTube Follow the lives of four indigenous musicians and activists as they incite change in their communities through their art. The full episode is on the MTV Facebook page. Sometimes, the best way to change the game is to be yourself. Brought to you by Rebel Music, an MTV Facebook Exclusive. Watch it now. View this post on Facebook Facebook: video.php Follow the lives of four Native American musicians and activists as they incite change across the U.S. through their music - it is the story you've never heard. The full episode is on the MTV Facebook page. Watch it now.