A Louisiana mother-daughter duo is set to graduate together from Grambling State University (GSU).
Suzzon Jiles, 48, is a mother of two who chose to get her high school diploma at 29-years-old and did not think about going back to school.
Her 21-year-old daughter, Trinity Humphrey (Jiles), prepped to go off to college and inspired her mother to do the same.
Jiles pursued her degree in early childhood education at GSU.
“I didn’t know anything about college life,” Jiles said. “And I said, well, I’m gonna get up and go to college. I had no idea that I was gonna walk alongside my daughter. This is just history for both of us.”
Jiles said that managing her wife and motherhood duties while being a GSU student during the pandemic became challenging, but her daughter helped her through.
“There were many difficulties I faced working and going to school,” she said. “It was overwhelming at times being a wife and a working mother. There were long hours spent studying, not to mention that COVID hit right when I enrolled at Grambling. I never got to enjoy my college experience, and I never even got to tour the campus. But thank God I made it this far, and I will continue,” she said.
“My daughter said, ‘Momma, we’re doing this, and to hear my daughter say, ‘We are doing it, I kept going … studying all night,” Jiles said. “Sometimes going to bed at three or four in the morning while working and doing two jobs. It was stressful. But I wouldn’t trade another day for it. I would do it again.”
Humphrey will be graduating with a biology degree with dreams of becoming a dentist. She hopes to enroll in the Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry. She also struggled with her degree during the pandemic.
“Organic chemistry was very hard for me due to COVID and the classes being 100% online,” said Humphrey. “I’m more of a hands-on person. But the faculty and staff helped me tremendously. The biology department at Grambling State University is like family to me. They’ve helped me so much, even in other areas. Dr. (Dagne) Hill and Ms. (Angela) McMurray were such a big help to me. Ms. Laquetta Anderson helped so much advising me for classes, and Dr. (Gernerique) Stewart in the chemistry department helped me understand chemistry, and I’m very thankful for that.”
She’s grateful for her mother being by her side.
Jiles is proud to have taken the step to continue her education and encourages others to fight hesitancy.
“Hesitation holds you back,” Jiles said. “But you have to keep stern and keep pressing.”
The mother-daughter duo is crossing the stage together on May 12. Congratulations to them both!