It is graduation season and that means hundreds of thousands of grandmothers across the nation will be sitting in auditoriums cheering on their grandchildren as they walk across the stage to get their degrees. Alexis Anders, however, will only have to look across the stage to find hers.
Anders is earning her degree in Human Services Technology this week. Rosetta Owens, a fellow graduate, is also her grandmother. Her degree is in Early Childhood Education. “I decided on this particular degree because like Alexis, I was a very young mother,” says Owens. “I saw different things about different children as a mother growing up and I wanted to raise my children a certain way and I think that’s what piqued my interest in the Early Childhood program.”
“I am a single mother, very young and I thought I would never have time to go back to school and earn a degree,” says Anders. “But how could I possibly sit there and watch my grandmother go out there, she also having been a young mother….and also be older than the average college student, get her degree and me not be inspired?”
Owens and Anders meet in a familiar spot.
Alexis and Rosetta formed a bond over the years, not only as grandmother and granddaughter—but as schoolmates. Sharing the trials and tribulations of things that happened in class or helping each other with homework that sometimes might not have made sense became the norm. After all, Anders says she got into the Human Services program because she likes helping people in the first place.
“Right now, words cannot describe how I feel to be able to walk across the stage with my granddaughter this week,” adds Owens. Anders shares the same sentiment. “To be onstage after all the hard work I put in to get here is exciting enough but to look out there and see all of your family members cheering you on—that’s incredible. But then, I will look over and see my own grandmother going after her dreams too. That is indescribable.”
“The message I think our story should send is twofold,” adds Anders. “One is that it is never too late to follow your dream. The other is that if you have the chance to inspire someone who is considering not following their own dream, take that chance!”
“Our family of course, knows we are graduating together this week,” laughs Owens. “What they don’t know is that we are being featured in this article. I can’t wait to see the look on their faces when they read about it and reflect on all the things that we accomplished together.”
Congratulations to Owens, Anders and all the graduates from Sampson Community College this week. For more information about Sampson Community College, visit http://www.sampsoncc.edu.